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History of The 

Dar al-Xllum 




A Historical Survey of the Great Religious and Educational Services 
and Political Activities of ihe Dar al-Ulum. Deoband 

By order of the Majlis-e Shura, 
Dar al-Ulum, Deoband & 
Under instruction of 

Hakim ai-lslam Hazrat Mcultina Qari Muhammad Tayy!b, 

Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. 

Compiled by Sayyid Mahboob Rizvi 
Translated into English by Prof. Muriaz Husctin F. Quraishi 







Introduction : by Hakim al-isiam Hazrat Maulona Qari 

Muhammad Tayyib 

Vice-chancellor, Dar al-Ulum, Deoband 

Author : Savvid Mahbcod Riivi 

English Translator : Praf. Muriaz Husain F Guraishi.. 

Gordo College, Navsarr -396 445. 

First Print : 1980, Two thousand. 

Press : SaMtya Mudrcnalaya, City Mil! Compound, 

Kankaria Road, Ahmedobad - 320 022. 

Price : Inland : Rs, 135/- 

r £ 12 95 

F0rei9n I S 30/- 





Translator's Note 



Page No 








The origin of Madrasahs 

Islam in India 

The Madrasahs of India 

Shell Wali Allah's Educational Services 

The Chain of Credentials of ihe Great Savants of ihe 

Dar al-Ulum 

Shah Abd al-Azis 70 

Shah Muhammad Ishaq '' 

Shah Abd al-Ghani 
Maulana Mamluk Ali 
Maulana Rasheed a!-Din Khan 
Shah Rafl' al-Din 76 

Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nannutavi 

The Period of Writing the Scholium on Bukhctri Sharif "2 

The Method of Teaching Hadith 84 

Humility & Independence-Fram-Wanf 87 

Services for the Preservation of Islam & the Starting of 

Madrasahs 88 

Fair for God-Consciousness at Shahjahanpor 89 

The Polemic at Roorke 90 

Reformative Movement for Widow Re-marriage 91 

Participation in the Fight for Freedom 91 

Death 92 

The Six Great Ones 93 

Maulana Zulfiqar Ali 93 

Maulana Fazl al-Rahrnan Usmani 95 

Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi 95 

Deoband — The Land of the Dar al-Ulum 98 

The Ages of the Founders of the Dor al-Ulum a! the 

Time of its Establishment 103 

Ideal 103 


Establishment of the Dar al-Ulum & Its Annals and 

Particulars 111 


The Movement for Donations 114 
The Constitution of the Dar a!-Ulum prepared by its 

Founder 1 15 

The Inauguration of the Dar al-Ulum 117 
Announcement Regarding he Establishment of the 

Dar al-Ulum 1 1 3 

The Wonderful Success of the Dar al-Ulum 119 

Educational & Administrative Measures 122 

Annual Examination 123 

The incidents of A.H. 1284 123 

The Opening of Classes for Quran & Persian 124 

The Collection of Text-books (Book-Bank) 124 

Educational Condition 125 

Hazrof Gangohi's Inspection in A.H. 1285 125 

The Opening of Seminatics a Different Places 126 
The Difficulties Caused by an Epidemic and a Famine 

in A.H. 1286 126 

Change in Vice-chancellorship 126 

The Effects of the Previous Impediments in A.H. 1287 126 

A.H. 1288 - The Year of Progress 127 

Maulana Rafi' al-Din's Return 127 

A.H. 1289 - Convocation 127 

Some Ulema's Participation in Daura-e Haciith lvu 

Gifts of Text-books lv3 

A.H. 1290 - Prize Distribution 129 

A.H. 1291 — The International Fame of (he Dar al-Ulum 133 

The Beginning of the Affiliation of Madrasahs 133 

The Shaikh al-Hind on the Masnad of Teaching 134 

Proposal for the Present Site for the Dar al-Ulum 134 

The Interesting Observations of an English Spy 135 

A.H. 1292 : Summary of ihe 10-year Particulars 139 

Convocation 140 
The Foundation-Stone of the First Building of the 

Dar al-Ulum 141 

A.H. 1293 : The Beginning of Fetwas 143 

Examinations of the Affiliated Madrasahs 143 
A-H. 1294 : The Students' Contribution for the Wounded 

Turkish Soldiers 144 

The Elders' Pilgrimage Journey 144 

A.H. 1295 : The Establishment of Thamarat al-Tarbiat 144 

Dar al-Ulum Instead of Madrasah 144, 

A.H. 1296 : The Starting of Education in Tibb 145 

A.H. 1297 : Hazrat Nanautavi's Death 145 

Hazrat Gangohi's Patronage 147 

The Shaikh al-Masha'ikh's Instruction 143 
A.H. 1298-99 : Convocation for Awarding Prizes & 

Turbans 143 

The Hindu Helpers of the Dar al-Ulum 150 
A.H. 1300-1301 : The Rewards of the Dar ai-Ulum & 

Summary of iti 18-year Effects 151 

Establishment of ihe Tibbia Department 152 
A.H. 1302 : Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi's 

Death I 53 

AH. 1303 : Educational Statistics I 53 
A.H, 1304-05 : The Establishment of a Helping Society in 

Hyderabad (A.P.) 154 

Financial Help from the Hyderabad State '" 

Maulana Rafi' al-Din's Journey for Pilgrimage '55 

A.H. 1307-08 : Shaikh al-Hind as Dean 155 

AH, 1309-10 : Vice-chancellor's Assistant . ^ 56 

The Establishment of Dar al-lfta 156 
A.H. 1311 : The Scholars (Graduates) of the Dar al-Ulum 

in the Seminaries of the Country ' 56 

A.H. 1312-13 : Change in Vice-chancellorship 157 

Hazrat Gangohi's Arrival 157 
The Efforts of Hyderabad for the Construction of a 

Students' Hostel ] 58 

AH. 1316 to 1318 : The Construction of the Students' Hos el 159 

A.H. 1319 : The Collection of Books for the Library 160 
Hazraf Thanvi's and Hazrat Raipuri's Membership of the 

Majlis-e Shura 16T 
A.H. 1321 : The Starting of the Department of 

Cantillation (Tajvid) 1 q1 

Proposal for the Teaching of English "* 

A.H. 1322 : The Visit of the Governor of U.P. 162 

Maulana Zulfiqar All's Demise 163 

A.H. 1323 : Hazrat Gangohi's Demise 163 

AH. 1324 : Prize-Distributpion Function 164 

Maulana Habib al-Rahman As Vice-chancellor 167 

Library Building 167 

A.H. 1325 : The Death-Incidents 167 

Proposal for Building a Mosque 168 
A.H. 1326 : Increase in the Donation of Hyderabad & 

Bhopal 169 


The Review of an Observer 169 

The Construction of the Mosque 171 
Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri and Maulana Madani 

as Teachers 172 

The Establishment cf the Jami'af al-Ansar 172 

A Grand Convocation 173 

AH. 1328 : The Starting of the Kitchen 175 

The Establishment of the Department of Preaching 175 

A.H. 1329-30 : The Building of the Dor al-Hadith 176 
The Students' Sincerity of Spirit as Regards the Foundation 

of the Dar al-Hadith 178 
The Dar al-Hadith's Approval in the Prophetic Court 

Allamah Sayyid Rasheed Reza's Visit to the Dar al-Ulum 179 
The Excellent Efforts of the Dar al-Ulum in Helping 

Anjuman-e Hital-e Ahmar 180 

A.H. 1331 : The Journal "Al-Qasim" 181 
The Effect of Collecting Funds for Hilal-e Ahmar on the 

Dar al-Ulum 181 

A.H. 1332 : Particulars in Brief 182 

The Starting of Al-Rasheed 182 

The Cover of the Prophetic Jubboh 183 

Departure of a Delegation to Dacca 133 

A.H. 1333 : Increment in Salaries 186 

The Construction of a Mosque at the Railway Station 187 

The Visit of the Governor of U P —Sir Jomss Muston 188 

A.H. 1334 : increase in the Donation of Hyderabad 189 

The Unusual Progress of the Dar al-Ulum 190 

AH. 1335-36 s Educational Condition 191 

The Shaikh a!-Hind's Arrest 192 

Risala-e Scrir-e Dar al-Ulum 192 

A.H. 1337 : Deaths 195 

The Influence of the Dar al-U!um on South and East Africa 196 

A.H. 1338 : Shaikh al-Hind's Release & Return frorrn Malta 197 

The Foundation of the New Hostel 198 

A.H. 1339 : The Shaikh al-Hind's Demise l°9 

The Valuable Help from France & South Africa 201 
A.H. 1340 : The Selection of the Vice-chancellor for the 

Post of Ifta in Hyderabad 201 

Increase in Salaries & Some Changes 202 
A.H. 1341-42 : The Preaching Services of the Dar al-Ulum 

During the Period of Shuddhi & Sanghtan 204 
Arrangement for Missionary Education 207 


A.H.1343 : The Ebb & Row Four of Yeors' Finances 208 

A.H. 1344 : The Vice-chancellor's Return from Hyderabad 208 

Maulana Habib al-Rahman in Place of the Vice-chancellor 209 

Hazrat Thanvi's Patronage 209 

An important Incident 209 

A,H. 1345 ; The Revival of the Past Disturbance 210 

Amendment in the Constitution 210 

The Establishment of the Executive Committee 211 
A.H. 1346 : Resignation of Those Who Concurred with 

Shah Sahib 211 

A.H. 1347 : An Inquiry Commission from Hyderabad 213 

The Incident of Hafiz Sahib's Demise 214 
A.H. 1348-49 : The Incident of Maulana Habib 

al-Rahman's Death 215 
Selection of Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib as 

Vice-chancellor 218 

Extension the Mosque &. Completion of the Dar al-Hadith 218 

A.H. 1350-51 : The Starting of Daura Tafsir 216 

Compulsory Practice of Cantillaiion 219 

A.H. 1352:The Construction of the Upper Dar al Hadilh 219 

Improvement in the Rule of Admission 220 

Ticket-system for Meals 220 

A.H. 1353 : An Auspicious Donation 221 

The Issuing of Pension 221 

A.H. 1354 : The Chancellorship 176 

The Problem of Patronage 222 
A.H. 1355 : The Establishment of Three Departments 

Department of Organisation & Progress 223 

Record Office 223 
The Department of Physical Exercise 

A Delegation of the Ulema of Egypt 224 

A.H. 1356 : Some New Buildings 224 
A.H. 1357 : The Arrival of Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, 

Minister of Communications 

A.H. 1358 : Maulana Ubayd Allah Sindhi's Return 227 

Sultan Ibn Sa'ud's Academic Gift 228 

The Vice-chancellor's Journey to Afghanistan 228 

Dar al-Tafsir 232 

A.H. 1359 : The Construction of the Bab al-Zahir 232' 

The Compilation of a Useful Educational Scheme 233 
Relation Between the Dar al-Ulum and the Muslim 

University, Aligarh 234, 




A.H. 1360 : Completion of the Hostel 236 

'"Dar al-Ulum" Journal 236 

A.H. 1361 : Maulana Madani's Arrest 
Postponement of the Annual Examinations & rhe 

General Vacation 238 

Arrival of the Chinese Representative, Osman Woo 238 

A.H. 1362: The Effects of the Conditions of the Country 

on the Dar ai-Ulum 039 

Allamah Usmani's Separation 239 

A.H. 1363 : Maulana Madani's Release 240 

A.h. 1364 : The Starting of a Department of Calligraphy 241 

A.H. 1365 : The Starting of a Craft House 241 

A.H. 1366 : Help to the Rial-stricken Muslims of Bihar 

& Gadh-Mukteshar 242 

The Issue of Provident Fund 243 

15th August, 1947 — India Wins Freedom 243 

Prevention of Renegation of the Muslims of Dehradun 247 

A.H. 1369 : Cc-operation of the Govt, of India in the 

Muslim University Court 243 
Search of the Dar al-Ulum And Confiscation of the 

Religious Instructions Regarding Id al-Adha 245 

A.H. 1369 : Co-opera, ion of the Govt, of India in the 

Admission of the Pakistani Students 249 
Introduction of the Dor al-Ulum Outside India through 

the Govt, of India 249 

The Afghan Ambassador's Visit to the Dar al-Ulum 251 

A.H. 1370 : Maulana Azad's Arrival 242 
The Effect of the Partition of the Country on Income & 

the Strength of Students 254 

A.H. 1371 : Acharya Vinoba Bhave's Impressions 255 

A Critical Financial Period of the Dar al-Ulum 256 

The Generosity of the Muslims of the Vicinity 256 

The Visit of an Egyptian Scholar 257 
A.H. 1372 . Addition to the Medical (Tibbi) Dept. 

& Establishment of Dar al-Shifa (Clinic) 257 

Supply of Water in the New Hostel 258 
A.H. 1373-74 : Congratulatory Message from the King of 

Hejaz 253 

Anwar al-Sadat's Visit to the Dar al-Ulum 259 

Introduction of the Dar al-Ulum to Europe & America 259 

The Dar a!-Ulum's Relations With Egypt 259 

Extension to the Mosque of the Dar al-Ulum 260 


A Religious Ga.hering — Intercammunal 260 

Compilation of the Fatcswa Dar al-Ulum 261 
A.H, 1376 : The President of the RepubSic of India in the 

Dar al-Ulum 262 

The Vice-chancellor's Journey lo Burma 268 

A.H. 1377 : Maulana Madani's Death 263 

Visit of the King of Afghanistan 269 

The Relation Between Dar al-Ufum, Deoband, & Afghanistan 269 
A.H, 1373 : The Department for Organising the 

'Graduates of the Dar al--Ulum 2,73 

A.H. 1379 : The Vice-chancellor's Journey to South Africa 274 
Representation of the Dar al-Ulum in the Jubilee of ihe 

Da'irat al-Ma'arif, Hyderabad 274 

Academic Presents to President Gama! Abdel Nasir 275 

The Noble Pilgrims 275 

A.H. 1380 ; The Opening of the Jamia-e Tibbia 276 

Dr. P. Hardey's Arrival 276 

A.H. 1381 : Prof. Humayun Kabir's Visit 27/ 

The Quranic Records 282 

A.H. 1382 : The Dar ol-Ulum After a Century 282 

The Arrangement of :he Library 234 

Maulana Hifz a I- Rahman's Death 285 

The Impressions of a Dignified Syrian Divine 286 
A.H. 1383 : The Vice-chancellor's Journey to Africa 

& Egypt 289 
The Participation of the Dar al-Ulum in the Orientalists' 

Conference 294 

A.H. 1384-5 : The Starting of the Journal Da'wat al-Hciq 295 
the Co-operation of the U.P. Govt, in the Provision of 

Grains • 295 

The Visit of the Governor of U. P. to the Dar al-Ulum 295 

The Dar al-Ulum in the Eyes of the Central Govt. 29 T 

A.H. 1386-7 : A Regrettable Incident 29<i 

The New Hall of the Library 299 

The Works of the Ulema of Deoband 299 

Monetary Help for Egypt, Syria & Jordan 300 

Allamah Balliavis Death 301 

A.H. 1388-9 : The Year of Grief for the Dar al-Ulum 301 

A.H. 1389 : Strike 302 

Research Scholars of Western Countries 303 

The Impressions of Visitors from the Arab Countries 304 

The Chhatta Masque 305 






A.H. 1390 : Change in the Syllabus 305 

The Rapport of the Dar al-Ulum with Foreign Countries 
A.H. 1391 : New Constructions 
The History of India is Ashine with the Services of the 

Dar al-Ulum 30 f 

The Vice-chancellor's Journey ;o Europe 307 

A.H. 1392 : Efforts for the Protection of the Muslim 

Personal Law 

The Egyptian Cultural Delegation 

The Pilgrims to Hejaz 
A.H. 1393-94 : Delegations from the Rabeta-e Alam-e 


The Visit of the Governor of U . P . 315 

The Establishment of the Dar ol-Qaia 315 

A.H. 1395 : The Vice-chancellor's Journey to Africa, 

Hejaz & Europe 

The Arrival of Shaikh al-Azhar & Other Arab Ulema 318 

Deaths 319 

The Visit of the President of the Republic of India 32 ° 


The Tack (Maskik) of the Dar al-Ulum 335 

The Difficulties in the Establishment of the Dar al-Ulum 

& the Decision of the Divine Will 334 

The Universal Religious Call and Educational Movement 

of the Dar al-Ulum, 
The Performance of the Graduates of the Dar al-Ulum 
The Academic and Religious BeneFaction of the Dar al- 
Ulum, Deoband 343 
The Establishment of Seminaries on the Pattern of the 

Dec al-Ulum 
Madrasa-e Thana Bhavan, 

Madrasa-e Islami, Meerut JJO 

Madrasa-e Islami, Gulaothi . " J6 ° 

Madras-e Islami, Danpur 

Madras-e Islami, Moradabad 361 

Efforts for the Preservation of Religion 36 ^ 

The Part of the Dar al-Ulum in the Fight for Freedom 387 

The Literary Services of the Graduates of the Dar al-Ulum 396 

Bibliography 41 1 

Errata. I 





The learned compiler of this history in Urdu, Sayyid Mahboob Rizvi, 
has made use of certain quotations translated inlo Urdu from some 
English books, particularly, Sir W.W. Hunter's Our Indian Muslims, Prof. 
Sir T.W. Arnold's Preaching of islam, Prof. Wilfred Cantwell Smith's 
Modern Islam in India, and a Govt. o ( India's publication Islcsmic Istitu- 
tions in India. To re-translate such translated passages into English and 
capture the author's original wordings end style is almost a nexi-fo- 
impossible task — though it may not be so for a great master of the art 
of translation like Edward Gibbon, the famous author of the monumental 
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. This inimitable historian, in his 
early career, used to translate long La'in passages into English, which he 
would put aside for severe;! mon!hs to forget all cbeut them and then 
would re-translate the English versions into Latin to see if they were faith- 
ful to the original. Continuous practice over a long time had made him 
perfect. We, at the most, can reach a near translation only, as in the case 
of the passage of the last-named book in this translation. Similarly, in 
the matter of transliterating some foreign proper names, as that of 
Padre Knowies, ihe two Japanese, one German and one American scholars, 
and the Dutch mayor of Johannesburg, the names may not have been 
spelt correctly. 

To facilitate my work as regards the translation of the passages of 
the last two books mentioned above, first I wrote to my old friend, Dr. 
M.A. Quraishi, Prof, of Education (Retd.) of M.S. University, Baroda, for 
sending me his copy cf Prof. Smith's book which I had seen at his place 
seme years back. He promptly did but it turned out to be the same 1 au- 
thor's Islam in Modern History. Then I wrote to another old friend, Dr. 
S. Farid, Director, Anjuman-e Islam Urdu Research Institute, Bombay, to 
take the trouble of sending me copies of the relevant passages of the 
said two books. Being a very busy man as he is, ha took his own time 
in replying my lelter and meanwhile I wrote o a new friend, Dr. Snaaib 
Azami of the Dept, of Islamic & Arab-Iranian Studies, Jamia Mi ilia Isiamia, 
New Delhi, with whom [ had come into contact during my all-too-brief 
19-day stay in he Jawaharlal Nehru University Comp.js in connection 
with the First Summer Insiitu'e for, Persian Teachers (May 15 — June 4, 
1977). The replies of both came about ten days back. Dr. Farid located 
Smith's book in Gandhi Library, Bombay, but could not find the other book. 
Dr. Azami could find neither but both were considerate enough to copy 
—Dr. Azami took the trouble of typing the" whole matter— the passages 
on Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, from Dr, Ziyaud-Din A, Desai's Centres of 


islamic Learning in India, another Govt, of India publication, in the hope 
ihat this malter would be useful to me. Dr. Ziyaud-Din is also an old 
friend and he would have certainly obliged me with the required passage 
from the last-named book but I failed to write him for want of his proper 
address at Nagpur. Anyhow, I am very grateful to all ihe triends 
mentioned above, to Dr. Quraishi for the loan of his book, and to Dr. 
Farid and Dr. Azami for taking the trouble of finding and copying the 

Arnold's Preaching cf Islam I had ordered twenty years ago, after 
having read Maulana Habib al-Rahman's monumental Uhcs'at-e lsiam, for 
my own section in, the college library. Hunter's book, I know, is availa- 
ble in the library of Nadvat al-Ulama, Lucknow, but threre is no acquain- 
tance there !o write to, and the passage too is much too short. 

As regards the official hierarchy in the Dar al-U!um, Deoband, I am 
of the opinion that the patron (Sar-parast, Murabbi) is not the chancellor 
but is above him while the Sadr Muhtamim is the chancellor; and the 
Muhtamim is vice-chancellor while the Na'ib Muhtamim is equal to pro- 
vice-chancellor or rector, because a rector in the modern universities is 
next io the vice-chancellor, generally. However, 1 am saying this under 

Besides my grateful thanks to the friends mentioned above, grateful 
acknowledgement is due, first of all, to Hazrat Maulana Qciri Muhammad 
Tayyib (may his shadow never grow less I), vice-chancellor, Dar al-USum, 
Deoband, for selecting me to translate the Tcsrikh-e Dar ai-Ulum, Deoband. 
into English; then to Maulana Abd a!-Haq, Incharge. Daftar-e Ihtemam of 
the Dar al-U!um, for his promptitude in corresponence,- to Haji A.U. 
Kadri, retired headmaster of ME.S. High School, Baroda, and Mr. S.M. 
Sayed, superintendent, Gujarat S.S.C.E. Board, Baroda, for suggesting and 
arranging respectively the printing of this book at Sahitya Mudranalaya, 
Ahmedabad, which is one of the three topmost printing presses in the 
whole of Gujarat; to Mr. Vishnu S. Pandya, the open-hearted proprietor of 
the said press "where priniing is a craft, not a job", and an expert 
typographer, for accepting this work at a concessional rate because it is 
the work of a religious institution which is run on publia donations, irres- 
pective of the donor's caste and creed; and last but not the least, to my 
former Parsi student who has been also my college-colleague for more than 
twenty years, Prof. Miss Kety M. Dudha, head of the English Department, 
for wading through and poring over nearly 700 pages of the typescript, 
pin-pointing typing errors, meticulously marking the missing foot-notes 
and for her learned aid in proposing some useful changes here and there. 


At the end I must pray for the late lamented Sayyid Mahboob Rizvi. 
On March 25, 1979, he felt uneasy, took a rickshaw home and slumped 
before receiving medical help; it was a massive heart attack. Unfortu- 
nately he did not survive to see his learnedly compiled work rendered into 
English. May Allah award dim a high rank in the precincts where Divine 
Favours and Mercy descend upon those ulema "whose ink is holier than 
the blood of the martyrs" ! Amen ! 

Murtaz Husain Faiyaz Husain Quraishi. 

Selodwad, Navsari — 396 445. Gujarat. 
Saturday, 12th Zil-hijja, AH. 1399 
— November 3, 1979. 




Hakim al-lslam Hazrat Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, 
Vice-chancellor, Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. 


"Praise be to Allah, and peace be on His slaves whom He hath chosen" ! 
Today when the history of the Dar al-Ulum and the details of its 
achievements are being laid before you, it seems necessary that some light 
may also be thrown on its spirituality and reality without which this his- 
tory cannot be complete; though, in view of the art of historiography, im- 
portance may not be attached to such apocalyptic and theopneustic events 
and, calling them the result of mere good faith, they may be overlooked 
But when this spiritual reality may have a basic position in its very 
foundations, rather the very soul of its total history may be these very 
realities from which its distinctive dignity may have grown and developed, 
we understand that its real history itself lies hidden in these peculiarities, 
and not to recount these is to throw its distinctive dignity into the back- 
ground. Hence it was necessary that along with its external history its 
internal history too may come to the fore : that is, on what spiritual foun- 
dation this institution, from the alpha to the omega, has been based and 
by what realities its ever-increasing popularity has developed. 

Fundamentally, in this connection, the foremost thing is its school of 
thought without elucidating which neither any light can be thrown .on its 
spirituality nor its religious orientation can be exposed. Some questions 
arise here: Firstly, what is its central thought from which its raison d'etre 
may be determined? What are the constituents of its central thought 
from which its angles of action fixed? What is the head-spring 
of this thought from which it received this thought? What is the route 
to reach it whereby its being authentic and satisfactory may become 
conspicuous? These are the very questions without solving which no 
light can be thrown on its spirituality and reality. 

So, the first thing in this connection is that the chain of authenticity 
of the Dar al-Ulum starts with the great traditionist of India, Hazrat Imam 
Shah Wali Allah Dehelvi whose continuous chain of authenticity reaches 
back the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him!). Shah 

Wall Allah's knowledge, taste and thought, through the medium of Shah 
Abd al-Aziz, Shah Muhammad Isbaq and then Shah Abd al-Ghani, reached 
Hujjat a!-ls!arn (the Proof of Islam), Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi 
and Maulana Rasbeed Ahmed Gangohi, who universalized it through this 
sacred institution, i.e., the Dcr al-Ulum, Deoband. So, undoubtedly, in the 
leaching of the Book and the Sunnah and in ihe elucidating and stating 
of the greatness and veneration of Divine Unity (Tauheed) and apostle- 
hood (risaJai), Shah Wali Allah has had a peculiar colour and a remark- 
able style of explaining, and whose foremost nucleal matter is Divine 
Revelation ( wahy ) and its discernment, which is the basis of his thought. 
Then in the sphere of teaching and inculcation there is that speciality of 
expression which appeals tc the psychology of every age, and of which 
ihere are different constituents which have been working in it as per the 
psychology of time. Then this slyie of thought is no! the result of mere 
rational deliberation or intellectual exersice,- it is rather inspirational, the 
inspirational speciality of which Shch Wali Allah himself has expressed 
i<n his monumental work, Hujjat AUahi! Baligho- He said :— 

One day, after the Asr prayer, I wos sitting, concentrating upon Ailah, 
when, suddenl/, ihe auspicious soul of the Holy P; ophet (Allah's peace 
and blessings fcje upon him!) appeared and enveloped me from above 
the head. I felt as if a cloth had been thrown over me and in this 
condition it was put into my heart that it was a hint towards the ex- 
pressing of a particular speciality of religion; and at that time I felt a 
light in my chest which was increasing and expanding every moment. 
After some time my Lord inspired me that the matters the Sublime Pen 
(the Pen of Destiny x has written for me includes this also that some 
day I rise up for this matter which 1 had seen In the form of an expand- 
ing light; i.s., a special expression and exposition of teligion. Verily 
the. earth shone with the light of her Lord and its rays were reflected 
at the time of sunset. Light has cast its reflection on the earth (i.e., 
this light which was a special light of the knowledge of realities covered 
every side of the heart and it was this that the Chosen Prophet's shari'ah 
had to appear in this age in the full attire of proof and argument 
(which was the Zeitgeist of the psychology of this rationalist period). 
Then one day, in the holy Mecca, I saw the two Imams of religion, 
Hasan arid Husain (may Allah be pleased with both of them!), ini 
dream as if both of them gave me a pen, saying : "This is our grand- 
father's (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him !) pen"- Then I was 
thinking again and again that 1 should compile a treatise on this art 
(mysteries and realities) which may become a source of insight for 
the novice and prove a commemoration for the adept (and so I wrote 
the Hujjat Allahil Baligha). (Vol. \, p. 3). 

It is clear from this that the Shah Sahib had made out through theo- 
pneusty that the age of understanding religion with good faith through 
mere narrative ( rtaql ) and tradition ( riwayat ) was no more, that the 
period of rational demands and proof-seeking had begun and the firmness 
of faith ( imem ) in respect of the knowledge of reality, truth-seeking and 
doctrinal traditions had become lax and rationalism was gaining ground, 
so much so that people had become anxious about weighing even the 
hidden mysteries too in the balance of reason. Therefore, as long as the 
traditional religion was not presented clothed in the dress of rationalism, 
the rationalist dispositions of the period would not be satisfied and calling 
it "all this is naught but fables of the men of old" would declare it to be 
unworthy of consideration and would thus ba deprived of religion. Hence 
the Shah Sahib, through divine inspiration, decided to transmit religion 
through this traditionai-cum-rational school of thought so that the entire 
religion, even as It is perfect in respect of narrative and tradition, nicy 
appear consummate with regard to reason and knowledge as well, ond 
may not become unworthy of consideration for any rationalist or 
knowledge-loving man. So he compiled this wonderfully unique book of 
the rime, Hujjot Allahil Balighti, on this topic, from which it is quite 
explicit H-iai this thought cf stahng religion wtts purely inspirational., 
inpired into the Walt Allahian heart. At the same time, Shah Sahib also 
made it clear that these rational expediencies, secrets and mysteries do 
not constitute the foundation of religion so that religion may stand upon 
them; rather, the real foundation is divine revelation (wcthy-i lltirtil and 
its authentic narration only; that these rational proofs are merely a means 
of its affirmation and of making it intelligible to the people, and are not 
themselves the source of beliefs end purposes of religion,- so much so that 
if ony philosophic or rational principle be contradictory to any belief, its 
renouncement and the gripping of the belief alone would be real religion. 
So, in that inspired language, he also threw light on the speciality of this 
expression as well as on its grade of positiveness (hujjieit), and said :- 

"And when the insistence of every shrewd man began to be expressed 
on his own opinion and the people's paths became divergent, one com- 
munity adopted the Book and the Sunnah and, as regards the prede- 
cessors' beliefs, grasped them with their teeth. They did not care a 
fig for the conformance or opposition of the philosophical or rational 
principle. Even so, if they adopted those rational principles, it was 
to confute the opponents or to acquire more satisfaction, and not to 
derive beliefs from them. So, these alone are the Ahl al-Sunnah". 
(Hujjcit p. 9). 

Then, not only about beliefs and principles of religion but also 
academic propositions (masa'il), he said further:- 

4 . • 

"And (this Sunnah) has also made it indispensable (wajib) for us that 
in believing the legal commandments and in the practice thereof, 
when they may have reached us through authentic narration, we 
should not at all pause to recognise these expediencies because the 
common intellects are generally not constant in this knowledge (as 
long as the knowledge of revelation may not guide them }; moreover, 
for this reason also that the blessed person of the Holy Prophet 
(Allah's peace and blessings be upon him ) is far more reliable and 
trustworthy than our (partial) intellects". ( Hujjat. p. 6). 

It is evident from this that in the tack.(maslak) of the Ahl al-Sunnah 

wal-Jama'ah reason is not the basis; it is rather the revelation. Reason 
is not the ruler over revelation as the Mu'atazila have understood; on the 
contrary, revelation is the ruler over reason and is also the criterion of 
the soundness and sickness of reason. Therefore, whether it be belief 
or practice, it will be based on revelation, not on rational deliberation, 
because the divine religion is based on authentic narration and has 
reached us in the form of tradition. It is not dependent on rational 
innovations which emerge from within us and do not descend from 
heaven. These rational expediencies are merely for refuting the 
enemies or for explaining religion to the enemies and antagonists in 
their own language or for deriving self-satisfaction, and not for believ- 
ing and demonstrating religion. 

It is clear from this that to present the handed-down (narrated) and 
traditional religion in the garb of rational arguments, physical expedien- 
cies and spiritual secrets and mysteries, and to make religion acceptable 
to the rationalist dispositions of the period by showing it to be the 
natural religion, is the first part of this inspired school of thought that 
was inspired by Allah into the Shah Sahib's heart. But from the style 
of expression and the manner of explaining of the Hujjat Allahil Betligha 
itself, in which these rational points of wisdom and proofs have been 
presented, it is also remarkable that he, ascribing these points of wisdom 
to relevant verses and traditions, has presented them mostly in an 
apocalyptic and aesthetic colour. Hence naturally from this can be 
satisfied only those rationalist dispositions which, believing in these 
traditions to some extent may also have in their minds some impor- 
tance of this zest and internal ecstasy (wajdan). and their sense of 
faith ( iman ) may not have deadened completely. Otherwise people 
totally innocent of this belief and unacquainted with the very alley of 
zest, and completely devoid of this relish, would have, instead of calling 
it knowledge and wisdom, rejected it, giving it the caption of 'flight of 
imagination', and, consigning it to disinclination, would have been de- 

piived of religion as usual, let alone derive any benefit from it. Accord- 
ingly, in this 'initial stage of rationalism which was also the incipient 
period of the Englishmen's interferences, knavish conspiracies and atheis- 
tic theories, from this amalgamation of rationalism and traditionalism 
at least those people continued to come to the right path whom reason 
would not let alone peacefully, though- Even so, being somewhat fami- 
liar with and affected by the regnant influences of the general milieu 
and the religious colour of that period, they had not been so much 
estranged from religion that they would have openly bogged down into 
the morass of apostasy and atheism, or, totally alienated from internal 
zest, ecstasy and soundness of conscience, would have come down to 
plain negation and falsification. 

But after the elapsing of the age of childhood of this era, when the 
time of the youth of rationalism came and the English power also, hav- 
ing passed through the hidden and machinating stage, began to run full 
gallop in open courses, the said zest too began to dwindle in the same 
ratio. Rather, when therewith European theories and atheistic thoughts 
began to arrive in the shape of a rival vis-a-vis religion, and with the 
cross-breeding of philosophy with science these theories began to take 
the form of percepts, sheer reason also lagged behind and perceptivity, 
launching an attack, scrounged its throne of sovereignty; and now the 
presenting of anything traditional in the garb of the rational no more 
remained a guarantor of its being believed so long as it was not put 
forth in the guise of percepts. It was so because the pace of the time 
and the straw in the wind were showing that shortly Lenin and Stalin 
would replace Newton and Goethe, and instead of theoretical philo- 
sophy, sensory and socialistiaisms and perceptual philosophies were to 
be founded which would not be prepared to give importance to any 
theoretical and rational philosophies as long as practical and perceptible 
factors were not seen working in them; rather, even the swords of 
strength and power should not obstruct the throats of these socialistic 
and sensory isms. 

Accordingly, swelling like a turkey-cock with the pride of perceptible 
and material powers, Gladstone's swollen oratory was to echo in the 
British parliament to the effect that "now we have become so powerful 
that even if the sky wishes to fall down upon us, we will stop it at the 
points of our bayonets." Then, after a brief interval. Stalin's was to 
reverberate in the atmosphere that "now we have banned the entry of 
God into the Russian borders", and (astronaut) Yuri Gagarian, returning 
safely from his journey to the moon, was to aver: "I, rising above the 
gravitational centre ©f tfi* earth went on circling in the atmosphere of 


the sky and witnessed the rising and setting of the sun seventeen times 
within an hour, but nowwhere there 1 saw God". Moreover, in this mean 
world anti-God and anti-prophet societies were also to be founded 
—merely for the reason 'hat God is invisible to them through bare eyes. 
God forfend "'■ In sum, in place of the rational gallop, o perceptual race 
was starting and in place of the faculties of the heart and the mind the 
sovereignty of the eye of the forehead was to be installed. In other 
words, that old Judaism, which had divested the Jews of their faith, 
was to revive again to come before the world and it was this only 
that they, striking the adze at the very basis of their faith, had Fixed 
the eye to be their deity; and they had said :— 

"O Moses! We will not believe in thee till we see Allah .plainly" (11:55), 
'And we will not acknowledge the divine speech to be divine till we 
hear Allah's voice with our own ears'. . . 

As though this abnegation had taken the form of a principle that a 
thing not seen by the eye does not exist; naturally the sequel was that 
sense had taken the place of intellect and perceptible things the place 
of rationalism. Hence, they were desirous of seeing with eyes even those 
spiritualities which are thinas to be seen with the heart and are free 
from and above perceptible form and shape. Hence, it had become 
insufficient to explain to them a subtle and spiritual reality like religion 
by bringing it before them merely in c rational shirt, as long as it was 
not brought forth covered with the mantle of perceptible ob'[ects. Thus, 
even as at the beginning of this age of rationalism the respectable Imam 
Shah Wali Allah, through divine inspiration, carved the way of rational 
argument and proof for the stating of religion, at the star? cf this 
period of perceptivity, a unique gem in his own fourth academic lineage. 
Shah Abd al-Ghani Muhaddith Dehelvi also, observing this situation of 
the world, indicated the dress of perceptions, though its practical period 
began afterwards. Accordingly, this fact becomes apparent from his 
own (following) incident, which was related by Haji Ameer Shah Khan 
Khurjavi, a favourite attendant of Qasim al-Ulum Nanautavi, before a 
group of students among whom this humble writer was also present; 
that Hakim Nur al-Din ( Bhervi ), the first khalifa (spiritual successor) of 
Mtrza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani, was one of the pupils of Shah Abd 
al-Ghani, though later on he reneged. After he completed his studies. 
Shah Sahib told htm ! "Mian Nur al-Din ! Books you have already 
finished; now learn something about remembering Allah". He replied : 
"Sir ! I have read the Quran, I have read the Hadith. Whafs re- 
membrance of Allah besides this ?" "Nur al-Din I You must havfe 
estimated from my lectures on Hadith", said Shah Abd al-Ghani, "that 


I transform the traditional into the rational; by the practice of reme- 
bering Allah this rational will become perceptible". The purport of this 
observation was that by the excess of zikr (remembrance of Allah) illumi- 
nation of the heart ( i&hraq-e qalbi ) is achieved and by its lustre, along 
with the realm of spiritualities, the realities and knowledges of the world 
of perception are also uncovered, The hint was towards this that now 
it wculd not be sufficient to present religion theoretically in the rational 
colour til! it was not put beforci the world with arguments of the percep- 
tual style and perceptible evidences of which there is no other way 
except self-discipline ( riyazat ), spiritual exertion ( rnujahada > and 
excess of zikr, whereby gnosis, insight and the dignity of divining 
realities are created in the heart, and theoretical propositions turn into 
and look as percepts. 

So, in this stating of religion. Imam Shah Wali Allah had included 
rational expediences and mysteries and a particular disciple of his in 
the fourth generation (Shah Abd al-Ghani ) included along with it per- 
ceptual and observational arguments and evidences as well, which was 
the effect of the light of the same divine inspiration and gnostic intuition. 
But, anyway, this was the same aesthetic and oratorical manner which, 
as regards the wisdom of the verses and the traditions, could be effec- 
tive and appealing to the sentiments of our own people or those indivi- 
duals who were intellectually proximate. It was, however, not of such 
argumentative dignity that it could affect a sheer repudiator and a pure 
antagonist, carrying a hidden negation of the Book and the Divine Reve- 
laiicn in his heart, and who, ab initio, be a denier of the existence of 
the Creator and, backsliding from the necessity of prophethood, be un- 
convinced, from the very start, of resurrection, and may have taken 
these beliefs tc be an amusing eld fable- How could then the wisdom 
and insight born of verse and tradition or of relevance to them be effec- 
tive upon one who would shy at the very mention of a verse and tradi- 
tion ? Hence it was necessary that without the initial mention of verses 
and traditions, religion might be presented before him with mere scien- 
tific principle in philosophical manners and in the style of the isms of 
the current period in such a way that, apart from narrative and tradition 
and opart from their rational arguments and perceptible proofs, Islam 
might appear before him independently in the form of a philosophy and 
ism. In the beginning it may not be sensed that this is some revealed 
religion which is being presented before him but he may feel that this 
is an independent, natural, intrinsic philosophy and a system of life 
without adopting which man can never pass his life pleasantly; and 
when love of this religion may have started flowing somewhat in the 


straits of his intellect, he may be told at the end that this was 
the same Islam from which he was shying, 

Keeping mis snuanon in mina, u me present-day period 15 seen, 
men mis snuanon nas reacnea its exTreme stage. Trie war ot today is 
nc/i ihai or oeneis and mougnts out is thai ot Theories; intact it is not 
01 nieoi is=s even dui rather mosny or capiions and styles 01 expression. 
it today a reality is presented with the names or God and the Prophet, 
peoples tiee Trom n, our it tne same reamy is presented under the cap- 
tions ot civilisation, society and worldly benefits, then not only they deem 
it worth paying attention to but also consider it acceptable. It means, 
therefore, that lhe real enmity is with the names of God and the Prophet, 
not with their message, proviaed ii is not presentea with their names. 
What else is the upshot of all this but this that in the present-day super- 
ficial period aii the religious wars are not of realities and events but 
only of captions; that is, superficiality has come to such a level that 
meanings and realities apart, the criterion of truth and falsehood has 
come to depend upon interpretation and interpretative ascriptions. For 
instance, if initially the inculcation of a belief comes in the name of a 
religious tradition or a religion and whatever number of exigencies are 
laid bare, it will continue to be lost to bewilderment and escape, and if 
the same is presented under the caption of scientific, philosophical, eco- 
nomic and cultural expediencies, in the form of an ism, then not only 
that it does not prove to be a means of bewilderment and flight but 
also becomes worthy of attention and cogitation, as though the world 
has become an appreciator of words and weary of meaning. Hence, its 
reformation too is possible through percepts and verbal captions only, 
provided those words be of the same meanings which are meant to be 
instilled into their hearts. So, for treating the spiritual patients of 
this period rose up from the fifth academic generation of the same Wali 
Allahian family an individual who. on the afore-said line, presented from 
the very start the faith and religion, religious beliefs and religious princi- 
ples and universals, under the impulsion of the same divine inspiration, 
without mentioning the names of Quran and Hadith or religion and com- 
munity (millat), in such an argumentative and logical style of expression as 
if he were presenting, as per the condition of the times, a strong and firm 
is in the external caption of which initially was neither the proclamations 
of religion nor the information of the Invisible, but finally it was the 
same religion and the belief of the Unseen; but he presented it in such 
a manner as if it were the inculcation of a pure philosophical ism with- 
out believing which neither the social life could be maintained in the 
right way nor politics and civilization nor life-after-death could be firm 
and successful. So he laid the foundation of a new perceptual philoso- 

phy and knowledge. We remember this individual as Qasim al-Ulum 
Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi (may Allah have mercy on him!), 
who was the pith or the sciences ot Shah Wan Allah, Shah Abd al-Aziz, 
Shah Muhammad Ishaq and Shah Abd al-Ghani and the quintessence of 
their religious aiscernment, and the same deposit that he had taken from 
the Wali Allahian era, he put forth before the world in a philosophical 
manner apposite to the condition of this period. Accordingly, in view of 
the mentality of the period, verses and traditions or religious technical 
terms are not initially mentioned anywhere on the surface in Qasim al- 
Ulum's writings and compilations though in reality they are nothing but 
verses and traditions; rather, remarkably the interpretative part as re- 
gards form consists of argumentative forms, demonstrative proofs and 
perceptual evidences and illustrations, whereas the internal part, in 
respect of meanings and imports, consisls of the realities of faith, gnostic 
bonds and apoclyptic and manifestative qualities. So Qasim al-Ulum 
has reflected the splendour of verses and traditions in the mirror of the 
indisputable questions ( musallamat ) and objects of sense of this era, 
but through philosophical argumentation and logical style of affirmation, 
in such a way as if an independent philosophy of life were being pre- 
sented. In the end, however, it is disclosed that this is very much the 
same Islam by the name of which the world had been bewildered. 
Thus, it becomes manifest to them that they were quarrelling over only 
names and captions and they had not got even the wind of the matter, 
though by nature they were not far from reality. But when by this 
philosophical style the reality became evident to them, finally the same 
caption which Allah Lord of Honour had coined for this reality was put 

on it i.e., Islam which Shah Wali Allah and his predecessors had 


It was for this reason that Maulana Ubayd Allah Sindhi used to say 
that the only ladder to Shah Wall Allah's philosophy is the Qasimid 
philosophy without climbing which one cannot reach the Wali Allahian 
proofs adequately. So the sciences Shah Wali Allah presents in an 
aesthetic and apoclyptic colour, Qasim al-Ulum brings them out in an 
argumentative colour. The former, in fine, does not let the familiar but 
skeptic persons become repudiators while the latter convinces the repudi- 
ators and pure atheists; the former, under verses and traditions, explains 
them philosophically, while the latter, by his philosophy, brings the 
backsliders to the door of verses and traditions to ease their entry into 
the palace of religion, provided, of course, this philosophy reaches or 
is conveyed to them. And even as the Wali Allahian philosophy is 
inspired, the Qasimid philosophy too is inspired and is a treasure of 
afflatus- And even as regards the Wali Allahian philosophy its pro- 


;<• . ■ ■ l 

proundei- himself has made it explicit in his writing that it is theopneu- 
stic and not the outcome of mental gymnastics, the elucidation and clari- 
fication of which has already been quoted from his writing; about the 
Qasimid philosophy too the clarifications of its propounder are present 
in his works. For instance, he himself says in his Masabih cil-Taraveeh 
that :— 

"Whatever they reveal on the page of my heart, I commit it to the pen". 
Or, for example lecturing on the question of Destiny in his Taqrir-e 
Dilpazeer, he says :— 

"Having reached such and such a place of this problem, the pen stopped 
and the disposition came to a deadlock. So I, resorting to that Court of 
Honour, beseeched : 

'The drop of wisdom that You released formerly- 
kindly let it join Your Own seas'! 

Then the door opened, thank Allah, and now whatever He is inspiring 
into my heart, I am committing it to paper". 

Such clarifications are there at other places also; similarly, they are 
present in Shah Abd al-Ghani's works too, if not overtly, then covertly, 
that his philosophy of suasion is also inspired, even as the information 
of the traditional's becoming perceptible was given through the inculca- 
tion of the remembrance of Allah to Nur al-Din under 1he caption of 
"excess of zikr"; the import of which is nothing but this that the remedy 
of this pain is divine inspiration which he experienced, and having 
tasted it himself wished others also to taste it. 

Anyway, it is one and the same afflatus (hikmat-e ladunni); when 
it descended upon Shah Wali Allah through divine inspiration, it put on 
the garb of rational colour in the stating of religion; when it came to 
Shah Abd al-Ghani, it indicated the performance of percepts; and when 
it was experienced by Qasim a!-Ulum, it took the form of perceptible 
cbjects instead of intuitive things and in that too it clothed itself with a 
ratioci.native dress; and in tune with the changing mentality of the times, 
this afflatus too went on changing different attires, the common value of 
wnich is divine inspiration and intuition. The same instuitian. (ilqa), 
tntough divine providence, went on forming and developing the mind 
of these august men; but since Maulano Nanautavi had derived benefit 
from and been trained by all of them, he proved to be the quintessence 
of the knowledge and philosophy of all these elders. Thus he became 


the most accomplished exponent of the tack (masiak) of the Ahl ai-Sunnah 
wal Jama'ah and, from time to time, presented the sciences of this tack 
sometimes in the rational colour, sometimes in the perceptional and some- 
times In his convincing dialectical method, in his teaching and inculcation, 
books and lectures, wherefore this tack came before the world in a com- 
prehensive manner; and its comprehensiveness too became conspicuous 
that it combines the traditional with the rational, the rational with 
the perceptional, and the perceptional with the dialectical colour. It is 
for this reason that in the Qasim al-Ulum's knowledge there is knowledge 
with gnosis, expediency with command, the traditional with the rational, 
the rational with the perceptional, benefits with the law, the spiritual path 
(tariqat) with the high-road (shari'at) of religion, consciousness of divine 
observation (ahsan) with faith (iman), defence of religion with its affirma- 
tion; that is, combining the sentiments of the grandeur of religion with 
religion, he presented it in the form of a compounded electuary with a life- 
giving antidotal colour, which comprised realities sprung from the head- 
spring of pure inspiration. Allah Most High, with His unbounded bounty 
and favour upon him, had made his physical nature itself such that if 
he proves one small proposition (maVala) it appears in the garb of a 
general principle which settles not one but hundreds of other details. 

It is obvious that when, in his time, Qasim al-Ulum alone was the sole 
originator of the basic idea of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, as has been 
evidenced by his pupils, compeers and elders, it was but ineluctable for 
this inspirational aspect to come to the fore in the tack of the Dar al-Ulum, 
and it did. And thereby it became clear that its tack, central thought 
ond religious tendency were not the outcome of cogitation but were a drop 
from the overflowing jea of divine inspiration. So if it be said, ihen it 
can be said without the fear of the blamer's blame that Deobandism is 
firstly Wo!i Allahism and secondly Qasimism; and that it is not merely the 
name of teaching and learning. And in view of the combination of the 
afore-said academic connections, it can be said that it is not merely a 
madrasah but it is a madrasah of though— in the modern technical term, 
a school of thought. 

Thus it becomes evident that Deobandism is neither a creed (mazhab) 
nor a sect, terms by which its antagonists try to incite the masses against 
it; but it is a comprehensive picture and a complete edition of the tack 
of the Ah! al-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah in which all he offshoots of the Ahl 
al-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah are seen joined with their root. What a fine 
succinct sentence the Poet of the East, the late Dr. Sir Shaikh Muhammad 
Iqbal— and it beseemed him alone— had spoken about Deobandism! When 
someone asked him, "What thing is the Deobandi, a creed or a sect"? he 


replied : "It's neither a creed nor a sect; Deobandi is the name of every 
rationalist religious man". 

At all events, the central thought and fundamental religious orienta- 
tion or tack of the madrasah of Deoband is a comprehensive, moderate and 
versatile tack of the Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah in which, by the combi- 
nation of the sunnah and the Jama'ah (group), the principle of religion, 
which is the Book and the Sunnah, and respect for the religious persona- 
lities—jurisprudents (fuqaha), traditionists (muhaddathin), school doctors 
(mufakaiiamin), professional commentators of the Quran (mufassarin), 
Sufis, fundamentalists (usuliyyin) and divine doctors (ulama-e-rabbaniyin) 
—both have combined. Neither departing from principle there is invention, 
novelty and renewal so that the door of heresies (bid'at) and innova- 
tions may be opened, nor breaking away from the religious personalities, 
there is self-esteem and opinianatedness whereby the gate of pride, pre- 
sumption, self-conceit and haughtiness may be set ajar, and the greatness 
of the pious predecessors and the just posterity may become chimerical. 
So, the prevention of the first disease is done with the world 'Al-Sunnah' 
and the second disease is averted by the word 'Al-Jama'ah', and thus this 
comprehensive and moderate tack, cleansed of all diseases, has reached 
us intact through Madrasah of Deoband and other madrasahs of similar 
nature. Otherwise in whichever tack there is excess and deficiency, it 
is either due to the absence of both these words, Al-Sunnah and Al- 
Jama'ah, or the lack of one of them. If there be no sunnah, it will become 
a tack of heresies and innovations, and if al-Jama'ah be missing, it will 
become a tack of self-opinion, free-thinking and presumptuousness and the 
result of these two shortcomings is excess and deficiency. 

Arabic Couplets :— 

"An unpractical religious divine who does not care about dishonour 
is a great mischief and a greater mischief than him is an ignorant 
devotee. Both of them are very great mischiefs in the world for one 
who follows them in one's religion". 

Seeing these resplendent signs of the Qasimid nisba (filiation) prevail- 
ing and pervading each and every brick of the Dar al-Ulum, a poem 
Ta'bir-eManam-sQctsimi ("Interpretation of the Qasimid Dreams") gushed 
out to my pen and paper though neither I am a poet nor the composition 
of verses is my hobby. But when sentiments crop up and demand to be 
expressed, neither the art of poetry is a condition for them nor they are 
restricted by it. The poem is in the Persian language, consisting of 178 
couplets. Since some of these couplets concern the Qasimid nisba and its 
pervasion in the Dar al-Ulum and also appertain to the central thought 


of the Dar al-Ulum, they seemed to be apposite to this occasion and, 
therefore, their presentation here was not considered odd, because it is 
no new addition if the facts related in prose now appear in the garb of 
poetry, there being only a difference in the form of expression. And 
they are as under : — 

1 . O Qasimid nisba IBravo ! The tumult of religion, aggressive as well as 
defensive, is exciting in the world because of you. 

2. O Qasimid nisba ! How honourable you are ! It is due to you that the 
natural religion is evident to everyone, whether one is just or 

3. O Qasimid nisba I How bountiful you are ! This total bounty is domi- 
nant universally over the whole world due to you. 

4. O Qasimid nisba! How excellent is your justice, for the jusnce of Islam, 

freed from the* two extremes, became known to all through you I 

5. O Qasimid nisba! How most superior you are that the ' benefaction 
from the Invisible became a witness and manifest matter to you from 
the hidden Unseen! 

6. O Qasimid nisba I How well-guiding you are that guidance and instru- 
ction have settled down in hearts due to you with moderate under- 

7. O Qasimid nisba! How deep is your insight that the care of the end 
was intelligently understood by the heart of the world due to you. 

8. O Qasimid niDba I The geist, the the acuteness of intellects is due to you. 
The intellect is a creation of God and the moderation of intellects is 
from you. 

9. A nisba comprising good morals and aspects of love, for these alone 

are light and mercy in this murky house (world); 

10. A nisba of knowledge and action, a nisba of love and 'states' (ahwsl) 
a nisba of inner religious understanding, a nisba of the mysteries of 


1 1 . A nisba of knowledge and modesty, a nisba of favours and sufficiency, 

a nisba of love and fidelity, a nisba of help to the opressed; 


12. A nisba of patience and trust in Allah by way of sincerity and chastity,, 
a nisba of good treatment to the kindred, a nisba of poor earning; 

13. A nisba of generosity and liberality, a nisba of benevolence and 
bounty, a nisba of remedy for deprivation for the pain of the 
deprived one; 

14. A nisba of the glory of brethren for the love of the brethren, a nisba 
of universal affection and treating with attention. 

15. Humility, civility, meekness ond courtesy for Allah's sake— a nisba 
which is free from the contemptible arrogance. 

16. You have come as a comprehensive nisba comprising all sorts of 
merits. Qasim is of you and sciences are distributed from Qasim's 

)?. Your riisbo is a nisba amalgamated with religion ffl-nd siat~; thi 
Rteani'rag of the Invmocu'ate Speech became conspicuous through you. 

18. Your days are full with jihad, nights with self-disciplining practices; 
it is your power that is joined to this exterior and interior. 

19. Your day is spent in exterminating infidelity (kufr) and night in self- 
abnegation; your high-spiritedness has merged in the worlds and the 

20. All the good attributes were collected and then given to the nisba,- 

that's why the Qasimid nisba became known as comprehensive. 

21. The Qastmid .nisba is a collection of ail these attributes; hence this 
is the very school of thought in this seminary. 

22. It is this wise colour of Islam with which Qasim al-Ulum imbued 
this seminary. 

By keeping this comprehensive and moderate thought or tack of the 
Mahrasa-e Deoband before ourselves, it appears that, under this mode- 
rate tack, the aim and ideal of the founder of the Dar al-Ulum was to 
unite with one another all the genuine tacks and their followers, for 
factional disunity, at that time, was the order of the day in the country, 
almost, an integral part of each tack, and, therefore, all the tacks and 


their followers, due 1o differences of their tacks, were engaged in wrangle 
and squabbles, save those whom Allah had preserved. If a jurisconsult 
(faqih) was against the Sufi, the Sufi called him a man deprived of eso- 
teric knowledge, on externalist, an undiscerning person and a rigorist; 
whereas the jurisconsult used to consider the Sufi a prisoner of unauthen- 
tic fancies and mental superstitions under the cloak of esoteric knowledge, 
one suffering from intellectual vertigo and backsliding from the prede- 
cessors' beliefs. The traditionist (muhaddith) was the opponent of the 
schoolman (mutetkallim) of the time, and vice versa. The traditionist used 
to call the schoolman a captive of intellect, one overawed by time, a re- 
negade from the predecessors and their practices, making religion phi- 
losophy in the name of dialectics (kalam), deprived of the predecessors' 
beliefs, rather an interpolator in religion. And the schoolman had believ- 
ed the traditionist to be a mere memoriser of words, lost in verbal inter- 
pretations, a slave of externalism, ignorant of realities, unaware of the 
principle of religion, helpless in the intellectual exposition of religion, and 
unacquainted with language, etc., etc. 

In short, rhe policy difference had changed into controversy of tacks, 
and difference of tacks into dispute, and the divergence of natures 
(mashrab) had taken the form of schisms, whereby the germs of diversity 
and dispersion had spread in the ummah, and everyone was ready to 
falsify, nay, anathematize each other. But Qasim al-Ulum and his Dar 
al-Ulum, in their comprehensive tack. presented Hadith, Tafsir, Fiqh 
(jurisprudence), Principles of Fiqh, dialectics, Tesav/wuf (Sufism), reality 
and gnosis, all religious sciences and states, as a bouquet of particoloured 
flowers (each of which, blossoming in its respective bed, was fixed on 
its stem), in such a compact manner that a centripetal way was created 
for all the different classes following different tacks 1o assemble at one 
point. So this thought on which the foundation of the Dar al-Ulum rests 
proved to be a combiner of the men of truth and a subduer of the men 
of falsehood, of which the main reason is that under the education of the 
Dar al-Ulum, its tack has had two baDtc elements. One is jurispruden- 
tial and dialectical or, briefly speaking, an academic tack, and the other 
is educative and cultural or, briefly speaking, the ethical tack; and both 
these academic and ethical tacks being perfectly moderate have acco- 
mmodated in them the substance of all the tacks, as though it were the 
sutntotal of the good qualities of all the tacks. Hence all academic and 
ethical classes can assemble at it and it cars be fixed as the meeting-place 
for all. 

So, as far as the academic tack is concerned, its 'asylum of business' 
(marja'al-emr) is the precious being of Hazrat Shah Wali Allah to whom 


this tack has been revealed from Allah through inspiration, details 
whereof have already been given in the foregone. And even as, by 
reason of its perfect moderation and comprehensiveness, it is physically 
a universe! centre for all academic classes of people, similarly, if the 
foflowers of all the tacks think justly and judiciously, they can assemble 
at it or at least, admitting it to be their awn centre, can draw near it. 
For instance, as far as the different jurisprudential methods (mazahib-e 
faqiha) of the jurisprudent of ihe ummah and the rnuji ahid-ir.iams are 
concerned, they have been produced by the external confliction or diver- 
gence of hadiihs and depend on the narration of one or the other hadith. 

The foremost principle of the jurisprudential tack of the Dar al-Ulum 
is: "To utilize a thing rather than leave it unused is better".. The wise 
do not let go unused even the most ignoble of things, let alone leave an 
excellent thing unused and let it go waste, and amongst all the excellent 
things the superexcellent is the prophetic speech as well as the Divine 
Speech. Hence, to make any aspect of it useless or impracticable is 
indubitably repugnant to the nature of this tack. The natural corollary 
of this is that amongst the variant hadiths the one that is most con- 
sonant and nearest to the Legislator's (peace be on him!) tenor, it is, in 
conformance to Imam Abu Hanifa, fixed as the real method (mazhab), 
and all the rest of 1he traditions are being linked to it in their respective 
order and place, wherefore no hodith is eliminated from the pale of 
practice. In other words, there is "conciliation of traditions" (Jam'a 
bayn al-riwayat), whereby the palh of reconciliation and compatibility 
is created. Without discarding the conflicting traditions, they are made 
subordinate to the original tradition through rational and traditional 
reasoning and are brought within the sphere of practice and are not 
allowed to be wasted by making them useless, so that no aspect of the 
prophetic speech may remain outside the pale of practice; so much so 
that instead of jettisoning even the hadith-e mursal, its demonstrativeness 
(hujjiat) is acknowledged. Thus no aspect of any tradition discerned by 
the guiding Imams remains outside the tack. We con interpret it in this 
way also that the jurisprudential grades of all the Imams collectively 
come within this tack. At the most there can be difference only of rajeh 
(superior, "the dipping scale") and ma'rjuh (overcome, "the rising scale") 
or afzal (most excellent) and mafzool (exalted, made excellent) or asl 
(root) and far'a (offshoot) or ozimat (determination end rukhsat (permi- 
ssion). However, at some places the difference of j'a'iz (permissible) and 
no-ja'iz (impermissible) is also created, but very little. So this makes no 
difference in the comprehensiveness of the Hanafite fiqh and the truthful 
ness of the other systems of fiqh, whether two nasus (explicit and decisive 
texts or dictums) be mutually opposing or two aspects of a single nass 


be opposing each other. So conflict does arise in the casuistic sections 
(fru'af-e ijlehadi) but no situation of opposition and controversy can 
crop up so as to incur the blame of escaping from or avoiding any juris- 
prudential tack. Thus the truthfulness and glory of the imams of ijtehad 
are also maintained in proportion to their dignity and it also does not 
make any difference in the sincerity and magnitude, respect and venera- 
tion of their jurisprudential lacks. Then this divergence too is not that 
of truth and falsehood so that it may conduce wrangling but is merely 
of error and right course in which neither aspect is devoid of reward. 
And it is obvious that when the utmost casuistic endeavours Jijtehadat) 
of all the jurisprudential systems (fiqhs) and jurisprudents, collecting at 
one centre, ore maintained classwise, befitting their position end rank, 
not only the crevices of contention and controversy are closed but by way 
of a common factor a unity of sorts is also created under which all these 
jurisprudential systems and jurisprudential ranks do not only become reli- 
able but they also converge on one centre which is a clear proof of the 
comprehensiveness of this tack. 

Now as for the true Islamic sects which, though united in principles 
end bases, are somewhat divergent due to requirements of legal rules, 
in the- meanings of sectional beliefs, it is evident thot the source of this 
too is casuistical thought and view, whereby due to difference in casuistry 
(ijtehad), divergent points of view may be established and take the 
forms of beliefs, and they may be begun to be considered sects although 
they are not sects since all the principles and bases of Islam are united. 
But since Shah Sahib s tack is comprehensive of explicit text (nass) and casui- 
stry (ijtehad), as long as ony casuistical asp3ct of these sectional beliefs 
does not come into clash with the fundamental principle and the basic 
rules and regulations of the Shari'ah, it does not remain unacceptable, 
save this that instead of giving this aspect its basic position in the pro- 
position, it may be put at an incidental, sectional place, but it cannot be 
discorded- In this way when any true sect and any of its doctrinal belief 
does not, with a little reasoning, go out of this tack, there remaining 
difference of degree only in its being purposeful or purposeless, there 
arises no situation to discard it too totally when it is within the circle of 
the probabilities of any explicit text (nass) or the branches of any legal 
(shara'i) principle. Therefore, in this comprehensive tack these Islamic 
sects are not wholly estranged from the bona fide sect; rather they draw 
nearer to it; only the false, pseudo-sects remain outside as they do not 
at all want to enter the sphere of truth. Now as for those stratas of 
society which, falling prey to doubts due to merely their own exertions 
in respect of Islamic propositions (masa'il) look aloof from the masses' 
tack, and, expressing their opinions in the matters of the Unseen, may be 


engaged in the endeavour of weighing the Invisible in the scales of the 
Visible- So, since this Wali Allohin tack is comprehensive of reason 
and tradition and combines the rational and the perceptional, and all the 
beliefs and general principles have been presented in it in the garb of 
rational proofs and natural expediencies, which is a repellent of all such 
intellectual doubts and keeps within it the provisions for intellectual 
solace and satisfaction of the stratas entangled In intellectual complica- 
cies, then there remains no question of these stratas' fleeing from the tack 
of truth, provided, of course, they become all ears and listen to these 
rational proofs of the legalities (sharw'iyat) with complete presence of 
mind. Accordingly, experiences are a witness that whenever such ratio- 
nalist people have seen this religio-legal (shara'i) tack attired in rational 
garments and in the dresses of right thought, their doubts have been 
dispelled as we!! as they, admitting sincerely their ignorance or careless- 
ness, have drawn near to this tack, or, having become its supporters, have 
become one of it. Now remain political circles who are habituated to 
call religion and country (i.e., state) separate, and who are always 
apprehensive of losing their political ends by taking the name of religion, 
So, in this middle-of-the-road tack those basic rules of religio-legal poli- 
tics too, derived from the Book and the Sunnah, have been presented, 
which are not only the answer to all such doubts but are also the natural 
way of attaining the political ends. 

At all events, the sphere of this moderate tack is comprehensive, 
broad and inclusive to such an extent that neither the casuistic 
classes nor the dialectical groups can remain separate from it, nor the 
philosophical circles, since their indisputable questions lie wrapped in 
it, can withdraw from it. The implication thereof is nothing else but 
this that the Wali Allahian tack has, on principle, collected within itself 
all the sects, circles and classes, and in which all the capabilities of cen- 
trality are present which do not let any rationalist academic classes re- 
main outside its pale, and whenever these will be used with equity and 
justice, thay will prove a satisfactory recipe and a comprehensive centre 
of attention and will pull out mutual contentions and communal schisms 
root and branch. Accordingly, an independent discussion in the 

Hujjat Allahil Baligha consists of politics, sociology, civilization and socie- 
ties and the title thereof therein is Irtefaqat (Societies), in which religio- 
legal discussions and religio-legal points about the political branch have 
been fully exposed with natural arguments so that no reasonable theory 
of the present-day politics too is out of its pale. Hence for political 
bodies too this tack has had the position of a compact centre at which 
these circles can assemble, provided they look into it and try to grasp it. 






On the other hand, the other fundamental element of this tack of the 
Dar al-Ulum is the cultivation of good morals and purification (taikia) 
of the selves, which is born through austere practices (riyazat), striving 
with the unregenerate soul (mujahadat), and the Sufii orders (salasil). 
Under this tack the great ones of the Deoband group are mostly attached 
to the Chishtiyya and many of them to the Naqshabandiyya order. The 
nearest asyium and boundary of the Naqshabandiyya family is the great 
crusader, Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed Rai Bareillvt (Allah's mercy be on him!) 
and the retreat and sheller of the Chishtiyya family is Shah Abd al-Raheem 
Vilayati. Both are conlemporaries and had been dispensing grace uni- 
versally during the same period. Hence these two orders alone are 
more well-known and more current in the country. In the Chishtiyya 
system a qalander-like colour is dominant the peculiar qualities of which 
are impetuosity (jcsh) end tumult (shorish), ecstasy (wajd) and exciting 
mirthfulness {tarab), etc., under which the uproar of 'state' (hal) and 
'utterance' [qui) always dominates over them, wherefore the caption of 
their lives is 'kindling', 'smouldering' and 'the tearing of clothes-' On the 
other hand, in the Naqshbandiyya order, there is dominance of conceal- 
ing and hiding, silence and reticense, aplomb and forbearance— chara- 
cteristics that make them truly answer to the following couplet :— 

"The Naqshbandiyya are strange caravan-leaders': they lead the 
caravan through a secret path to the Sanctuary (Haram)". 

Apparently there looks a relation of antithesis between both these 
orders though the destination ond purpose is one. But in the afore-said 
saints, Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed & Shah Abd al-Raheem, of both these orders, 
a form of reciprocal impressing and impressionability, in a God-engineer- 
ed manner, was created; and, in sufistic terminology, a way of mutual 
exchange of mystical qualities in their nisbas appeared. It is a long story. 
The substance of it is that a condition of expansion, hiqh spirits and exhi- 
laration used to dominate over Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed while a condition 
of fear, apprehension, shivering, gloom, worry and weeping used to be 
dominant in Shah Abd al-Raheem. 

On the occasion of Sayyid Sahib's journey for jihad, both these 
august men happened to meet in the mosque of Bunbi and 
through mutual attraction and absorption sat down in a closed 
room. When they came out, Sayyid Sahib had a weeping face 
while Shah Sahib's was all smiles and laughter; ie; the nisba 
of each had affected the other: It can be interpreted in this 
manner also that the Chishtiyya and Naqshbandiyya systems mutually 
amalgamated and the holy effects and conditions of both the saints 

reaching each other, compounded, whereby some effects of tumult and 
lamentation, weeping and wailing, appeared in Sayyid Sahib's Naqsh- 
bandiyya condition while self-possession and quietness, and under the reli- 
gio-legal mores, the dignity and gravity of conformance to the Sunnah 
gained dominance in "Shah Sahib's Chishtiyya condition. And therefrom 
this Naqshbandiyya-influenced Chishtiyya quality in which along with 
internal smouldering the colour of reverence for the Shari'ah and confor- 
mance to the Sunnah had become dominant appeared in his most well- 
guided successor (Khalifa), Hazrat Mianji Nur AAuhammad Jhanjhanvi, 
who expressed it in the following words (which I heard many times from 
my respectable uncle, Maulana Habib al-Rahman, the sixth vice-chancellor 
of the Dar al-lllum, Deoband) that "I have prepared (i.e., cooked in) such 
a casserole which had not been prepared a hundred years ago nor will be 
prepared after a hundred years." Recounting these words the said 
Maulana used to say that the allegory-appreciating men of Allah during 
the period of the establishment o f the held commonly the 
view that by this Hazrat Mianji Sahib's casserole, not prepared before or 
after one hundred years, was meant the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, in which 
tarlqat (the esoteric path) has combined with the shari'ah (the exoteric 
revelation), knowledge of civil mores (actab) with love-sickness (sokhta- 
jani), conformance to the sunnah (itteba'-e sunrtat) with transitionary spi- 
ritual 'states' of rapture (ahwal) and 'conditions of enlightenment' (kaifiyat). 
Hence the people of this order having pathos, hal and qal (rapture and 
utterance) are not only love-sick but are also decorous (adab-dan) in 
whom, along with internal pathos, reverence for the shari'ah and con- 
formance to the sunnah dominate at any rate; the interns! smouldering 
being that from the Chishtiyya system and the knowledge of etiquette 
and the sedateness of conformance to the sunnah being from the Naqsh- 
bandiyya order. So this order (sitsilah) that came to Maulana Nanautavi 
and Maulana Gangohi first from Mianji Sahib and the through Haii 
Imdad Allah, manifested the spiritual graces (fayzert) of these august 
men in the form of the Dar al-Ulum, which should be called the aggregate 
of the nisbas of the great ones of both these orders, and its grandeur 
appeared in the following manner :— 

'The goblet of shari'ah on one palm, the anvil cf love in the other : 
every sensual man does not know thte art of wielding both the qoblet 
and the anvil'. 

The interpretative statement of the elders that this casserole was 
an allegory for the Dor a!-Ulum is further supported and, in resnect of 
reality, proved stronger, which I have heard from the same deceased 
"Iders. particularly from my respected uncle, that Hazrat Nanautavi 


said : "I have been shown the shape of this madrasah as a hanging 
pipkin in the World of Prototypes (Alam-e-Mithal)". Some gentlemen 
have interpreted this 'hanging pipkin' with 'tawokkul' (trust in Allah). 
They assert that the axis of the madrasah is certainly on the pipkin, 
which is a utensil for food, but it is hanging, which is the aspect and 
dignity of trust in Allah that even after adopting means the result re- 
mains subject to divine will; i.e., the emergence of result by merely 
adopting means is not certain but remains suspended on divine will. 
Hence the appearance of this madrasah in the form of a pipkin is a 
warning to the effect that in respect of this madrasah eyes should be 
fixed more upon trust in Allah and divine help rather than on external 
means. For instance, neither any means of permanent income should 
be created for it nor the firm promises of men of affluence should 
be relied upon, even as Maulana Nanautavi himself has drawn full 
attention to this matter in his eight-fold basic principles. But notwith- 
standing the acknowledgement of this explanation, in the light of the 
previous incidents, its significance and tack seem more apposite to this 
comprehensiveness in which the shari'ah and the tariqa, pathos and 
fascinaiing etiquette have been gathered together. As though the sum 
of Miartji Sahib's statement is i "For the last one hendred years com- 
prehensiveness of tack in the Indian community had become languid, 
and every strata of society, due to absence of comprehensiveness and 
presence of individualism of tack, was engaged in fighting at close 
quarters with each other, and, particularly, two separate tacks had been 
created, by calling shariah and tariqa as two different paths; but now 
that dualism and double-facedness has been ended on the hands of this 
faqir and now, by the admixture of the Chishtiyya and the Naqshban- 
diyya orders, has come the era of prudent ardour and angelic excite- 
ment, the casserole of which is r ea dy and now food cooked in it only 
will be distributed throughout this country from the east to the west". 
This is the reason that among these deceased predecessors, inspite of the 
dominance of the Chishfiyya order, which is their original order, alle- 
giance (bai'at) was being taken in all the four families, particularly in 
the Naqshbandiyya order, and training was being given, as per capacity, 
according to all the four orders. A number of great men who could not 
make progress in the Chiishtiyya system were trained by these august 
men according to the Naqshbandiyya method. . Maulana Habib ol- 
Rahman himself used to say about his own condition that "after vowing 
allegiance to Maulana Gangohi, when I could not make any progress 
according to the Chishtiyya system, Hazrat Gangosh! told me that my share 
lay in the Naqshbandiyya order, not in the Chkhitivya", and when he was 
made to walk on that path, he made progress and Al'ch Most High made 
him successful and united (wasil) in that order only. 

22_ __ 

In view of this situation it can be asserted that along with academic 
and jurisprudential orders, the Sufi orders have also been gathered in 
the tack of the Dar al-Ulum wherefore no true Naqshbandi and Suhra- 
wardi and Qadiri can remain aloof from them. 

When a firm impression of this comprehensive tack fell upon 
Qasim ol-Ulum through the spiritual grace of his director of the path, 
(Shaikh-e Tariqat), Hazrat Haji Imadad Allah, and he, as evidenced by 
his Shaikh, became the Shaikh's tongue, even as the Gnostic of Rum 
(Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi) had become Shams Tabriz's tongue, this 
comprehensiveness always remained in his sight and its public manifes- 
tation took place in the shape of the Dar al-Ulum, and then, to all intents 
and purposes, the same came to be fixed as the tack of the Dar al-Ulum 
also. The 'resort of affair' {marj'a al-amr) of one was Shah Wali Allah 
and of the other the great spiritual successor of Mianji Jhanjhanvi, Haji 
Imdad Allah, whereby was formed the Qasimid spirituality (haqiqa*); 
and since he was the axis of Hadith in the Dar al-Ulum and the resort 
of authority' (marj'a al-istenad), it clearly means the same thing which 
has been mentioned above that the aim of Qasim al-Ulum and the Dar 
al-Ulum was the unity of all the orders and their respective followers. 
In the academic tack his aim was to collect all the academic orders and 
circles so that the sufi and the schoolman, the traditionist and the juris- 
prudent, the methodist and the gnostic may not remain disunited and 
distinct from one another but may be considered one and their arts also, 
intermingled and blended, may appear in the fo r m of a single discipline. 

On the other hand, in the training orders the orders of the saints were 
to be consolidated so that one who may be a Chishti may also be a Naqsh- 
bandi and one who may be either a Naqshbandi or Qadiri or Suhrawardi 
may also be a Chishti in order that not only the sufistic orders but their 
followers also may naturally appear as one. Hence if the Dar al-Ulum 
is acknowledged to be the centre of the unity of the ummah, it will not 
be against reality. It was the same central thought which was a de- 
posit of the Qasim al-Ulum's heart and which he wanted to expand 
through the path of the madrasah. Then, the common men of insight 
used to know this madrasah as only a madrasah but his good self knew 
it not as a madrasah but as a school of thought, and hence, ab Initio, he 
had made up his mind to make it expansible. This is the reason why 
in all those nurtured in the Dar al-Uium, whether great or small, this 
colour of conciseness was apparent in proportionate degrees and still 
■is, that, in them, along with teaching and learning self-discipline 
(riyazat) ond striving (mujahada); along with the sanad of Hadith the 
sanad of esoteric succession (khilafat-e batini); along with the 'intent- 


ness of states' {josh-e ahwal) the decorum of 'qaY (utterance); along with 
internal smouldering soul-fascinating etiquette; and along with the orders 
of the shari'ah the orders of the tariqa, were estabiished collaterally. 
While the Sabiri line of Kaliar and the Quddusi method of Gangoh came 
through the Chishtiyya system the Mujaddid's conformance to the sunriah 
and Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed's 'elevation of Allah's Word' was accreted 
through the Naqshbandiyya line. Hence in the young alumni of the 
madrasah neither rigorism was produced so that harshness might 
appear from them nor was there sheer softness so that they might be 
accused of cajoling; neither did they condone the unlawful things 
(munkarat) so as to receive the blame of being overawed nor did they 
indulge in imprudent hindering so as to be liable to objection. On the 
contrary, along with religious staunchness affection for all the creatures 
and along with poverty (lacfashshuf) courtesy (m.ulafifat) mutually went 
into their making, which is the true picture of "but follow a way bet- 
ween" (XVill : 1 10), and is a correct interpretation of the said casserole. 
It was because of this ethos that within the brief period of one hundred 
years arrangements for general reformation and training were establi- 
shed in this comprehensive group on a world-wide scale and became 
successful, whether it was an arrangement for education or preaching, or a 
mode of training the people or reforming the ummah. 

In the central thought of this comprehensive tack, along with arts 
and sciences, the addition of that class comprehensiveness and collectivity 
is also included under which this Dar al-Ulum has always stressed unity- 
amongst Muslims and, on the basis of the unity of the Ktilima, the one- 
ness of the ummah, and has always abstained from sectarianism inter se, 
which is in fact the true spirit of this thought, whereby not only the con- 
fusion of the ummah prevailing in if due to seizure of sovereignty from 
it was removed but a way of gathering together at one point and one 
centre was also created for it. At the same time, along with the unifi- 
cation of the different classes (of society), the difference of ranks and 
grades of these classes also became apparent; and then, by the gather- 
ing of the top-ranking persons, the way for the gathering of the scattered 
masses was also automatically forged. This is a different matter that 
the people who desire the confusion of the ummah for their own parti- 
cular ends, believing it to be a sin to come near the door of the place 
of thjs gathering, may have made it their ideal to run away from it, and 
they, let alone points of view, may not have even leisure for observing 
the observable, then what blame can be laid at the comprehensiveness, 
and catholicity of this tack? Let them take care of themselves. "But if 
they turn away, then are they in schism, and Allah will suffice thee (for 
defence) against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower". (11:137). 

The sum and substance of this is that whether it be the 100-year 
casserole or the hanging pipkin, both these things are concerned with the 
spiritual divinings (makshufat) of these elders and predecessors; these are 
among the matters of the Unseen, not the outcome of rational cogitation 
or mental caliesihenics. And it is obvious that when this Dar al-Ulum is 
an answer to these casseroles, the result is evident : that the connection 
of the reality of this institution is with the Invisible powers, tidings and 
hints from the Unseen, not from mere formal counsels; rather the counsels 
themselves have depended upon and drawn from the same hints. So 
what other name but that of "the Inspired Mad rash" can be given to this 
instituiion? This is the reason that since the operating power of this 
institution is en invisible power, today also the power that creates invi- 
sible ways of deliverance for it from the difficulties and hindrances of 
the time is the vary same invisible power that, in the very beginning, 
laid its arrangement in this visible world; and its supervision is so con- 
spicuous that the humblest servants of the Dar al-Ulum like us have been 
obsereving all the time and still observe it- It is the effect of this power thai 
its working on mere reliance on Allah is continuing on a world-wide scale 
without the provision of means; the functionaries' work is only bona fide 
intention and sincerity, and not its operation. 

Similarly this dream of the Qasim al-Ulum that "I am standing on 
the roof of the Noble House of Allah and canals are flowing from the 
fingers of my hands and feet and are expanding in all directions of the 
world" was interpreted by the august men of that era to the effect 
that the benefits of the prophetic sciences would be current from him throu- 
ghout the world, and when the Dar al-Ulum came into existence, the 
same august men called ii the interpretative personitkaiian of the said 
dream. Or this dream of Mauiana Rafl al-Din Naqshbandi, the emigrant 
to Madtna and the second vice-chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum, that "the 
keys of the religious sciences have been given into my hands" was also 
interpreted to mean the same Dar al-Ulum. All these are in fact the 
interpretations of the same casseroles that had been shown to Hazrat 
Jhanjhanvi and Mauiana Nanautavi, from which it is clear that this 
Dar al-Uium, as regards its reality and spiritual significance as well as 
its incorporation and shape is the manifestation and verification of good 
tidings from on high, and the Invisible powers themselves are working 
in its fcrrnat'on. Anyhow, in the thought of this institution on which 
the spiritual building of the Dar ai-Ulum is standing, along with sciental, 
efhicc;!, cractical, rafic-na' end political attributes, the attribute of com- 
prehensiveness, col'ectivify, equity and moderation also proves to be the 
nur.'enl Fefcfor if its tack. Kenre, according to the statements of the 
great elders, among the groups of the men of Allah of the time, this 

madrasah, as regards its group, was considered a renovator (mujaddid), 
which, through its thought and cognition of the individuals' dispositions, 
discharged the duty of revivifying all the branches of religion and proved 
to be the collection of the nisbas of the sainls of the time. 

It is obvious that when the reality and significance of this madrasah, 
i.e., the very existence of its central thought and its constituents has been due 
to divine inspiration, it was but natural that divine inspiration should have 
played a part in its formation, shaping and construction. When the exi- 
stence of form is naturally subject to its own reality and is its shadow, 
rather its manifestation, in which that reality shows its splendour, hence, 
commensurate with its significance, its foundation, its starting, its construction 
its frame of administration, so much so that the very selection of its main 
and key personalities too was net made through merely the general custo- 
mary methods of counselling, that some judicious individuals may lay 
heads together regarding the establishment of a madrasah and after dis- 
cussion when all may have arrived at a consensus they may have put the 
decision into practice. Rather, like its central thought, its formative 
matters too seen to be subject somewhat to inspirations and heavenly 
mystical revelations. Accordingly, that central thought also, which, starting 
from the Wali Allahian family, had reached Hazrat Qasim and Rasheed 
was inspired into the hearts of the saints of the time through divine 
inspiration itself at the time of the mental formation of the establishment 
of the madrasah, and without any apparent exception the souls of all of 
them at once expressed it in chorus; as though, in conformance to the 
prophetic sunnah and as required by the verse "and consult with them" 
(III; 159), it was also given the form of consultation and deliberation, but 
the divine hints alone were kept as the basis. 

So, whenever these holy men used to gather together, they used to 
put their mystical revelations (mukashifat) before each other. If one 
august man said : "it has been inspired into my heart that now there 
is need of establishing a madrasah to make religious education common 
in India", another would say : "the same is coming into my head also". 
If one said : "It has been divulged to me mystically that a madrasah 
should be established", then another would also say: "the same has 
come to my mind also". If the fourth one said ; It has been shown to 
me in dream that there is now need of the establishment of a madrasah", 
another would say, "the same has been revealed mystically to my heart 
also". In short, this was a voice in unison which was reverberating as 
a heavenly desire in the minds of all the men of heart, ihe substance of 
which, according to their own statements, was as follows ; — 


"Now that the Muslim power has come to an end in Inaia, colledively, 
there has been left none to patronise knowledge, and even if there has 
survived someone, he has not had the courage, due to unfavourable 
circumstances, to proceed forward, and hence whatever has been left of 
this heritage of the prophetic sciences has fallen on the way to oblivion. 
It is therefore apprehended that the Muslim race, falling a prey to 
ignorance, might fall into the hands of strangers and the Muslim com- 
munity and religion might be wiped out from this country. Hence the 
establishment of a madrasah is indispensable whereby the community may 
be maintained through education and training. If religious consciousness, 
religious education religious sentiments survive in the Muslims, they, 
because of the survival of religion, will be able to adjust their worldly lives 
also. But if the very basis of the community is done away with, there 
will remain no question of their reconstruction. So now there is no other 
way of protecting religion save the establishment of a madrasah". 

It is obvious that this speciality of these august men's myslical reve- 
lations coming to the fore was not of the nature of a formal consultation; 
it was rather an exchange of inspirations and heavenly good tidings on 
which internal and spiritual consensus was formed and on 15th Muha- 
rram, A.H.I 283, it adopted the form of incipience of the Madrasah of 
Deoband, It is clear from this that the question of the establishment of 
this madrasah, too, like its central thought, was theopneustic which took 
place through divine signs. Rather, much earlier than the period of 
ihese founders, and besides the Wali Allahian family, other men of Allah 
of India too had perceived not only the establishment of this madrasah 
but also its site through divine tokens and had already expressed it in 
subtle hints. 

I have heard it repeatedly from my elders and it was a common- 
place and well-known talk in their circles — and then its authority is 
available in the pages of history also — that when Hazrat Sayyid Ahmed 
Shaheed Bareillvi, while en route to the North-west Frontier province in 
connection with jihad, happened to pass through Deoband and when he 
reached the place where the madrasah is situated today, he remarked s 
"Here I am smelling the fragrance of knowledge", although at that time 
the rubbish of the town was being dumped at this site. But the adage 
is famous that every dog has his day. At last the aromas of knowledge 
burst forth from here, as Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed had indicated. It is 
clear from this that the site of the Dar al-Ulum too has been fixed in a 
way through divine tokens and which, under physical causes, proved a 
motivation for the desires of the hearts of the elders of the ummah of 
that era so that they too selected the some site through the desire of 



their hearts which had reached them passing through one invisible state 
to another, till at last, in A.H, 1283, it appeared in the form of the mad- 
rasah on the theatre of presence (shuhud). Hazrat Nanautavi, along with 
his enlightened (iaushan-zeimir) compeers, became intent upon starting 
the madrasah, and when Haji Muhammad Abid sent a letter to him at 
Meerut. informing him that an amount of contributions had been collected 
and requested him to come to Deoband, Hazrat Nanautavi immediately 
called Muila Mahmud Deobandi, who was then a teacher in Meerut, and 
sked him : "Mullaji! How much pay do you get here"? He replied : 
Rs. 10/- p.m.". "How is it", said the Maulana, "if your pay is raised to 
Rs. 15/- p.m and you reside in Deoband"? 1 He replied; "Sir! What can. be 
better than this"? So Maulana Nanautavi gave him the appointment in 
Meerut itself and sending him to Deoband, wrote to Haji Muhammad 
Abid: " I am sending Mulla Mahmud on Rs.15/- p.m. You may start 
the work of education, without waiting for me. I will also reach later". 
The reasons and expediencies of this absence can be seen in the article 
"Banr-e Dar al-Ulum", published in the newspaper, Medina, Bijnore, in 
October. 1965. 

At all events, the work of education started in the Chhatta Mosque. 
The construction of the building of the madrasah started eight, nine years 
later, and while laying the corner-stone all these ougust men were present- 
Since all the basic matters of this madrasah were being implemented through 
tidings from the Unseen, the eyes of these holy predecessors used to be 
fixed more — and they used to devote more time to this — on attention 
towards Allah, invocation, supplication and mystical discoveries from on 
high rather than on opinion, consultation and mutual understanding. 
In other words, rising above the customary means, the maintenance of the 
madrasah depended more on the unforseen divine help rather than on 
the provision of material means. Accordingly, the following incident 
mentioned in the Arwah-e Salasci, and has been continuously heard from 
the elders too, is a just evidence in this regard. After the establishment 
of the madrasah. Diwan Muhammad Yasin, who was a favourite proselyte 
(murid) of Maulana Qasim al-Ulum and was, through one relation, my 
maternal grandfather also, and was also the first organiser of the library 
of the Dar al-Ulum, went on pilgrimage to holy Mecca. There he used to 
be frequently present in the auspicious majlis (assembly) of his Shaikh's 
Shaikh, Haji !mdad Allah Sahib. While departing from there 
(Mecca), he requested Haji Sahib to pray for "our madrasah. '.Haji Sahib 
retorted. "How fine ! It was we who rubbed our foreheads in prostrations 
during nights, saying, 'O Allah! Establish a madrasah for the protection of 
Your religion and knowledge'! and now the madrasah has become yours"! 
Then he said: "The thought used to come to my mind that the madrasah 

would be established of Thana Bhavan (which is Haji Sahib's native-place) 
or ai Nanauta (which is Qasim al-Ulum's native-place). But what did we 
knew 1hat the people of Deoband would walk off with it"? 

From these events it is fully clear that the yearning for the 
.establishment of a madrasah first cropped up in the heart of the 
chief of this group — Hazrat Haji Imdad Allah (may his secret 
be sanctified.), and from him it proliferated to his group. All these 
gentlemen were masters of esoteric knowledge and hence this 
vearning settled in Ihe heart or every one of (hern, a faicj which 
we have interpreted as "in'emol consensus, (batini ijfsm'a) in Ihe previous 
lines. However, this fancy in all these elders was generally limited to the 
extent of establishing a madrasah only, the purport being religious edu- 
cation and, through this medium, the protection and survival of the Muslims 
in this country. But as far as the central thought of this madrasah and 
its universal ideal and, moreover, contending with a world-wide academic 
movement of atheistic and worldly views brought about by the English 
people, and, at the same time, consolidation of the scattered community 
and, most especially, the regaining of the past glory in the country or, at 
least, its spreading throughout the Islamic world with an autonomous 
passion, were concerned; such all-embracing desires and programmes 
were surging only in those persons who, in the jihad of Shamli, under the 
leadership of the imam of this jihad, Hazrat Hctji Imdad Allah, had taken 
up arms and had seen with their own eyes the corpses of Muslims biting 
the dust. Amongst them too Maulana Qasim and Maulana Rasheed par- 
ticularly were Haji Sahib's right-hand men who had before them not only 
the concepts of the madrasah but alsc; of i*s collectivity. From the criterion 
of this point of collectivity Maulana Qasim a!-Ulum surpassed all others in 
these feelings, his spiritual director of the path, Haji Imdad Allah himself 
had declared him to be the interpreter of his hidden thoughts. Haji Sahib, 
comparing Qasim al-Ulum to Maulana Rumi, had said "Maulana Rumi 
was Shams Tabriz's tongue through whom his sciences and aquirements 
(ma'arif) and esoteric thoughts were expressed and Maulavi Muhammad 
Qasim has been given to me as my tongue; i.e., my sciences and acquire- 
ments and desires are expressed through him". Hence these Imdad 
Allahian qualities emerged particularly in Maulana Nanautavi more than 
in others, and no sooner did Haji Sahib raise he banner of 
jihad, Qasim al-Ulum was the first to be under it and it was he who, 
after five, six months' discussions, persuaded Maulana Gangohi also to 
join it. Similarly, in the proposed madrasah, as also- in its thought and 
purpose the Imdadian sentiment that was there which became apparent 
from the above-said incident, for it only those people could come forward 


who, according to the declaration of the Shaikh himself, were his spiritual 

Accordingly, as per the narration of Maulana Habib ai-Rahman, the 
sixth vice-chancellor of the Dar a!-Uium, when the question ■ of con- 
structing a building for the Dar al-Ulum cros = and Maulana Qasim al- 
Ulum asserted its necessity, Haji Muhammad Abid, who is counted 
amongst the- founders of the madrasah, dissented from the constructing 
of a separate building for the Dar al-USum and said: "When a spacious 
Jama Masjid is presenf in the town and there are also so many rooms 
cm its three sides in which 30 1o 40 students can live easily and the vast 
roofed portion of the Jama Masjid can be sufficient for teaching and 
learning, why should the Muslims' money be wasted in constructing a 
separate building"? But Qosim •al-Ulum, stating she reasons for constru- 
cting, said: "Haji Sahib] In respect of this madrasah you are not visua- 
lising that thing which is being seen by me. This madrasah is not to 
remain thus far only; it is destined to go very far. Its basic objectives 
will be fulfilled only by an independent building". After some interval 
and parleys the incident of which is long and also needs no mention here, 
Haji Sahib also agreed on this end all of them together laid the foun- 

It is evident from this that generally the concept of the elders of the 
madrasah was confined to the extent of teaching and learning only, so much 
so that the same persisted till the laying of the foundation-stone even, 
while eight, ine years had already possed over the starting of the mad- 
rasah and as yet this broad and universal ideal was not before them 
which Qasim al-Ulum and his comrades-in-arms in the jihad of Shamli 
had cherished through divine hints and the grace of Shah Wali Allah and 
Haji Imdad Allah and after the said jihad these objectives emerged with 
still more force and resolution of which the headspring was Haji Imdad 
Allah and the leader was Qasim al-Ulum. 

In this Wali Allahian and Imdad Allahian concept the outer cover 
was that of education and beneath were hidden, through the same edu- 
cational line, the collective sentiments of the elevation of the Word of 
Allah, the Muslims' world-wide honour and grandeur, and universal 
service to the community. Bringing out this reality in one of his articles, 
entitled D^r al-Ulum Main Seeie Huwe Din, published in the Dar al- Ulum 
(magazine), Maulana Manazir Ashan Gilani has quoted Hazrat Shaikh al- 
Hind's statement as follows :— 



"Had the honourable teacher (Hazrat Nanautavi) established this 

madrasah for teaching and learning, for educating and being educated 

only? The madrasah was established before me. As far as I know this 

institution was established after the failure of the revolt of 1857 so that 

Ihere might be feuded a centre under the influence of which people 

might be prepared to make good the failure of 1857". 

At the end he said:— . , • 

"I do not obstruct the way of those whose only purpose and ideal is 
education, teaching and learning, but for myself I have selected only 
that way for which my respected teacher had established this organi- 
sation of the Dar a!-Ulum". 

Accordingly, he also made arrangements in the campus to teach military 
arts to the students so as to maintain soldier-like spirit in them aJong 
with knowledge. He also established a department of justice so that 
the habit of enforcing religious commandments may also be preserved in 
them. He also made efforts to help the Turks. Panegyric-poems were 
also written in praise of the Sultan of Turkey so that the connection of 
the young men of the madrasah might be maintained with the Islamic 
caliphate. After the English domination such collective societies were 
also helped and supported which had been established to acquire national 
rights from the English. Such works could not be performed from the 
courtyard of the Jama Masjid- 

All these objectives continued to be cherished in the same Qasimid 
descendants. Under the same, after his death, his academic successor, 
the Shaikh al-Hind, advanced these communal objectives further- His 
disciples too strengthened the educational lines but they never withdrew 
themselves from collective services. On the contrary, they took leading 
part in all the movements for freedom and if, on the one hand, the chief 
among them were ready to lay down their lives fighting against the 
English in the battle-field of Shamll, their progeny, on the other, remained 
ready to die in imprisonment and gaols; and even today it is foremost in 
speaking the word of truth. 

In view of this broad and catholic concept of the Dar al-Utum, Maulana 
Habib al-Rahman used to say that creatively this madrasah, in all the 
affairs of the country, has had the position of an axis around which the 
collective affairs of the country consciously or unconsciously turn; and as 
regards the shari'ah, it has had the position of a renovator, which has 


revived the various aspects of religion and has levelled the path of confor- 
mance to the Sunnah by obliterating the anti-Shari'ah vogues and customs. 
It was the same versatile concept on which the madrasah of Deoband was 
founded and Qasim al-Ulum compiled those eightfold basic principles full 
of the sentiments of this verstality and collectivity on which the founda- 
tion of this madrasah rests and it is current todate. It was on this very 
collective concept that its educational system and the framework of its 
administration was devised, and on it alone came to the fore those edu- 
cational peculiarities which had been sequently transmitted to the Qasi- 
mrd nisba, and he, with the same rtisba, was adjudged in this madrasah 
to be the axis of Hadith and the axis of authority and support under which 
its trained scholars are still being nurtured. Hence it has been remarked 
—and if seen minutely, absolutely correctly — that Deobandism, under the 
Wall Aflahian school of thought, is in fact the name of Qasimid-cum-Ra- 
sheedian mode of thinking, wherefore the scholars of Deoband write 
and call themselves Qasimi. Anyhow, from what Haji Imdad Allah said 
to Dewan Muhammad Yasin, it is clear that the basic idea of this mad- 
rasah appearing through Imdadian inspiration, was nurtured in the clean 
hearts of the crusaders of Shamli and at last emerging from the hearts 
of the godly crusaders its typical form took the shape of the madrasah of 
Deoband. What is the upshot of all this but this that the axis of 
effort and endeavour in connection with the establishment of the madrasah 
in the eyes of these august men, were not external causes but heavenly 
causes on which they depended- Secondly, with eyes set on causes, if 
anyone did form an i^-'ea about the site for the establishment of the 
madrasah, consequent^, in the sphere of action, the same invisible 
mode of vision and mystical discovery used to become dominant which 
through heavenly motivations, used to take place in the hearts and 
then in the outside. At all events, even as the central idea of this mad- 
rasah was inspirational, the desires for its establishment as well as the 
finding of its location were also inspirational. 

When the problem of construction on this site came forth and these 
elders, having proposed a plan for the building of the madrasah, got a 
foundation also dug out for it, though not yet filled up, the same night 
Maulana Rafi al-Din, the second vice-chancellor of the Dar al-U!um and 
one of the great saints of the Naqshbandiyya family, saw in a 
dream that the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be on him!) 
condescended to come, with a staff in his hand, to the foundation, and 
said ; "Due to this foundation that has been dug (in the northern dire- 
ction) the courtyard of the madrasah will become small and narrow". 
Saying this, he, proceeding ten, twenty yards northward, made a mark 


with his staff and drew a long line and said : "The foundation should 
be dug here", Early in the morning, as soon as the said Maulana got up, 
he reached the site and found the mark of the line in the same condition 
in which the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be on him!) had 
drawn it wiih his auspicious staff. He then neither asked the members nor 
consulted anyone and got the new foundation dug at that very place. 
It is clear from this that the beginning of construction of this madrasah 
and the demarcation of its area and courtyard too has been the result of 
heavenly tidings; otherwise consultations had already taken place and, 
conseauently, the foundation had been dug- But this heavenly tiding 
and the prophetic suggestion, as they deserved, were at any rate given 
priority over consultations. It is also clear from this that this dream was 
of the class of true dreams, rather, a mystical vision (kashf) of sorts, about 
the reality of which Maulana Rafl al-Din had not had the slightest doubt 
and suspicion; as otherwise he would not have shown such self- reliance 
on the basis of a mere dream and fancy and would not have sacrificed 
so easily the unanimous proposal of the whole group on mere whim and 
vision. Then, besides this, the concurrence of the whole group with it, 
making their own proposal null and void and absence of objection of 
any kind on this step of the Maulana, rather their willing agreement 
with it, is also a clear proof that all these masters of spiritual knowledge 
too were considering this dream to be of the class of divine inspiration. 
From this it is evidenced that the foundations of this madrasah and its 
constructional matters too were related to tidings from on high. 

Then the eightfold basic principles of the madrasah which ihe 
founder of this madrasah, who was as though the originator of mad- 
rasahs, wrote down have also been considered inspired, because along 
with rational and practical principles they also include heavenly predi- 
ctions, which cannot be made through mere intellect and sagacity save 
through inspiration. For example, in the same eightfold principles, 
making the income of the madrasah dependent on trust in Allah and a 
destitution of sorts, he said by way of prognostication that in case it 
were not like this, "it looks that the heavenly succour will be cut off". 
From this, firstly, it becomes clear that ihe fund of the madrasah is sheer 
divine help, and then this phrase regarding the future that "it looks" 
clearly indicates towards divine information which cannot be given any 
other name but that of "divine inspiration". Maulana Fazl al-Rahrnan who 
is counted amongsf the founders of ihe madrasah has expressed the 
same idea in verse in the following manner :— 

'It's the will of its founder that when for it 


some reliable fund will be provided, 

This hanging lantern and lamp of trust, 

You may take for granted, will become unradiant and lightless'. 

Similarly, words of warning of this type are found also in some 
more clauses of these principles that if these were not followed, it would 
be difficult for Ihis madrasah to survive, etc., etc. 

For this very reason when visitors of the intellectual and sagacious 
type happened to be in the madrasah and saw these principles, they too 
involuntarily called them to be inspired- Accordingly, when Maulana 
Muhammad Ali Jauhar came to the Dar al-Ulum in connection with the 
Khilafot Movement and he was shown Maulana Qasim al-Ulum's origi- 
nal writing in his own hand about these principles, tears came to Mau- 
lana Jauhar's eyes and impromptu he exclaimed : "What's the realation 
of these principles with reason? These are purely inspirational". Then he 
said i "This is strange that the conclusion we have arrived at today, 
after wondering a hundred years aimlessly (that we should never keep 
our collective institutions dependent upon any help of the English govern- 
ment, but with self-reliance stand up keeping them in our own hands\ 
these elders had surprisingly already reached it a hundred years ago"! 
From this the reality becomes quite evident that from the very surface 
of the principles and affairs of this madrasah every visitor used to feel 
that this establishment was undoubtedly running through divine help and 
divine hints, and hence its being an inspired institution had become well- 
known. Moreover it is also evident from this that not only the madrasah, 
the ways of the collection of funds for it tco have had some connection 
with divine inspiration. Then even in the administrative affairs and 
minute proposals in the managing of the madrasah too, divine sugges- 
tions seem to be v/orking. Accordingly, this statement of Maulana Rafi 
al-Din is a just witness to it that "I do not manage the madrasah but 
Hazrat Nanautavi manages it" (although the latter, notwithstanding all 
his efforts and full patronage and supervision of the madrasah, never 
had even a formal connection with the administration, not even with the 
teaching work, of the madrasah), and yet Maulana Rafi al-Din says that 
the whole management of the madrasah was being done by Hazrat Nan- 
autavi. The details of this given by him are : "As regards the admini- 
stration of the madrasah whatever passes through his heart is reflected 
exactly in mine and I execute it, and later on Hazrat Nanautavi says to 
me; Maulana 1 May Allah reward you ! This was cominq to my mind 
also" What can be the meaning of this except divine concordance or divine 
suqqestion? It will not only be ca'led an inspiration but also inspirational syn- 
chronism from which it is proved that divine inspirations and tidings have 


had a hand even in its administration. If a glance is cast over incidents 
it appears that even the matter of the selection of students for admission, 
general divine destiny apart beyond which nothing can go, used to be 
revealed somewhat in a mystical manner, particularly by way of inspi- 
ration and tidings, to these enlightened souls, with inspirational sugges- 
tions working therein. As such, the following incident is found in the 
records of the Dar al-Ulum and this humble writer has also heard it 
directly from his elders that one day Maulana Rafi al-Din, during his 
vice-chancellorship, was standing in the Maulsari compound (in front of the 
Nav-darah building) and some students were also present there when 
a student of Hadith (Daura-e Hadi'h), taking food from the kitchen of 
the madrasah, and, throwing down the soup-bowl very insolently before 
the Maulana, said: "Is this your management and administration that 
in this watery soup there is neither ghee nor condiments"? He spoke 
some more reproachfull words whereat the other students were also 
angered but due to respect for the Maulana and his silence, they could 
not say anything. The Maulana, with great forbearance and self-rest- 
raint, looked that student up and down thrice and, after his going away 
from there, asked; "Is he a student of the madrasah of Deoband"? 
Then he himself said: "He is not a student of the madrasah". "Sir", 
said the students, "his name has a regular entry in the kitchen register 
and he has been taking food from the kitchen regularly". "Whatever 
it is", said the Maulana, "he is not a student of the madrasah". When 
an enquiry was held, it turned out after some days that he was really 
not a student of the madrasah; there was another student of the same 
name, duly registered, whose rations were being regularly issued from the 
kitchen, but this audacious student, taking advantage of the similarity 
of names, was fraudulently takinq the rations himself and was depriving 
the bona fide student of his. When the cat was out of the bag, the 
students who had witnessed the scene approached the Maulana and told 
him that the matter turned out to be the same as he had spoken, that 
that insolent student was an impostor, auilty of impersonation- "But in 
spite of those entries, Sir, how could you say with such assurance and 
certainty that he was not a student of the madrasah?" asked the 
astonished students, 

The Maulana said : "In the beginning this work of managing used 
to embarrass me. Whenever I intended to give it up. Maulana Nanautavi 
would not let me do so (because it was at the instance of the latter that 
the Maulana had undertaken this work). Meanwhile ! saw a dream that 
this well of the Dar al-U!um (which is situated in the Maulsari compound) 
was brimful with milk, so brimful that the milk could be taken out with 
hands. The Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be on him!) was 



present at the brim and was distributing the milk. Some were filling their 
skin-bags, some were taking bucketful, some tumblerful, some bowlful 
and those who had no utensils were taking handfuls only. In short, 
peop'e were taking away milk in proportion fo their capacity. After 
s-eing this dream when I sat down for spiritual contemplation 
(muraqaba) to understand its meaning and interpretation, it was mysti- 
cally revealed to me that the well was a prototypal form of the madrasah 
cf Deoband, the milk that of knowledge, the holy being of the Prophet 
(Allah's peace end b'ess : ng be on him) was ihe distributor of knowledge 
and those who were taking milk were the students of the madrasah 
of Deoband who had been personified in the dream". In this 
connection the strange thing the Maulana said is: "When the academic 
year begins (i.e., in the month of Shawwal) and students come for admis- 
sion, I recognise each one of the admission-saekers that he was one of 
those who were taking milk, and this and and this. I looked that impu- 
dent student up and down thrice but he was not at all there in that crowd. 
Hence I cou'd say emphatically that he was not a bona fide student of th 
Deoband Madrasoh. And, praise be to Allah, that it was formally confi 
ed from the registers also". 



It becomes evident from this that the selection of students of this 
divinely-approved institution is also somehow connected with divine 
choice which is inspired into the hearts. Mere external means, although 
they are and have necessarily to be adopted, are not the axis of work 
here. I rather think that in this institution, due to the grace and bequeath- 
ment of the same enlightened august men, it is being marked even today 
that, under special circumstances and on the occasion of any mischief, 
those aspects regarding the appointment or dismissal of this type of 
students or employees which apparently look contrary to the provisions 
of policies but the result of which, In a divinely managed way, comes out 
to be better, do occur in the responsible hearts, of which there are many 
examples- Hence it is estimated that this spirit of divine suggestions which 
is a heritage from the elders is still working in this institution and is 
engaged in its work even today. "All praises are for Allah alone"! 

I have heard it from my elders that at the time of the appointment 
of Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed as the fifth vice-chancellor of the 
Dar al-Ufum, divergent opinions were expressed at the stage of consulta- 
tions, as it usually happens. But as Maulavi Mahm'ud Ram pur i, a mem- 
ber of the council of the Dar al-U'um, reported, Maulana Gangohi 
said: "I presented this problem before Allah Most High thrice but all 


the three limes Haflz Ahmed's name alone came forth that the madrasah 
would make progress at his hands only". What else can it be called 
but a divine suggestion? I know that these are not things of the histo- 
riographical data, nevertheless the history of this Dar al-Ulum cannot 
be separated from these institution, since this spirit of faith lies infused 
in its very foundations. Hence, naturally, along with historical glory 
the faith of hearts too is identical, and therefore, inseparable from it. 
Of course, if ihese august men were plain intellectuals, then possibly 
such things about them would have been called somewhat inappropriate, 
but in case of their being gnostics and masters of mystical revelation 
and miracle, such matters indubitably command a position of precedence 
in history. This is the reason that among the past alumni of the Dar al- 
Ulum, called graduates of Deoband, there is no arrangement of any for- 
ma! link with their institution,- nonetheless hearts with hearts and 
souls with souls ore so attached that such attachment is not possible habi- 
tually through any formal organisation. If a format organisation is esta- 
blished, which is often talked about, one cannot deny its uti'ity. But in 
this inspired institution even that cannot be useful and effective without 
this spirit, because the real nature of the institution is spirit, not forma- 
lity; reality, not display; concealing, not publicity; significance, not mere 
image-making,, though, consequentially, the image too is undeniable. 

These few events have been committed to pen with a view to bring 
before readers the originality, spirituality and reality of the 

Dar al-Ulum along with its history, and to make it clear that the Dar al- 
Ulum is not the name of its buildings sprawHng in a wide, long and 
broad area, or that its administration is distributed over scores of depart- 
ments, or that its staff has had hundreds of workers, or that th?re ire 
numerous offices, or that there is a huge concourse of students, or that 
it is the axis and centre of a large number of teachers, etc., etc, 

if all these things are there, and they are certainly very much there, 
fhey pertain to its form, not to its reality- The reality and intrinsic 
worth are the same invisible powers, its spiritual realities, that permeate 
its central idea, its basic aim, its religious orientation and the purpose of 
its construction and establishment, which have been infusing it through 
the continuous and contiguous nisbas of the men of hearts and masters of 
spirituality, and are beina transmitted through intenal relations from 
soul to sou! and heart to heart, wherefore this institution has proved 
to be a conaeries of the nisb"s of areat men of Allah and colours of 
sainthoods and has become such a central circle in which these variegated 
branches of knowledge and morality have not come together through 


ihe black inscriptions of mere books; on the contrary, it was through the 
effectuation of the spiritual efforts of so many men of heart and the 
pragmatism of so many pious predecessors and successors that it became 
a pot-pourri of lights and blessings (barakut). So, if this comprehensi- 
veness of nisbcss is summarised in words, then its tack (or track) and 
wayfarers can be put in this way that even as the tack of this institution 
consists in knowledge and gnosis, combines reason with love, action 
with morality, rectitude with politics, tradition with intelligence, seclu- 
sion with congregation, devotions with sociability, mysteries with 
wisdom, sobriety (sahv) with intoxication (sukr), absorption (jazb) with 
traversing of the path (suluk), rapture (ha!) with 'utterance' (qcti)., and 
the external ;zcthir) with the interne] (batin); similarly, the traversers 
of this path who have been coming out fostered in this milieu combine 
in themselves these nisbas as per their individual capacities. And with 
regard to these nisbas of the tack we can say that in respect of origin 
they are Mus ! im; as a sect, Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama'ah; as regards 
method (mazhtsb), Hanafite; in temper (mashrab), Sufis; in respect of 
scholastic theology, Ash'arite; as regards the mystical path, Chishtiyya 
and Naqshbandiyya; in throught, Wali Allahian; in respect of demonstration 
(burhan), conspicuity (ayan), and preference for school, Qasimid; in 
respect of religious discernment (tofaqquh) and awareness of fiqh, 
Rasheedian; as regards colleclivity (ijtemay'iat), Mahmudian, and in 
respect of central connectoin, Deobandian, this latter term being not 
peculiar to the campus of this madrasah only but includes all those semi- 
naries and their academic and practical institutions and circles which, 
scattered all over the country, are engaged in propagating and dissemi- 
nating religion and in educating and preaching in different ways- 

In short, under these variegated nisbas, the distinctive characterstic 
of this group has been, along with comprehensiveness of knowledge and 
good morals, broad-mindedness, tolerance and enMghtenment, the service 
of religion and the community, the nation and the nafiveland. But in all 
these walks of life the question of education has had the highest impor- 
tance among this group, as all these walks of life could be properly 
effective in ihe light of knowledge alone. This very aspect it has kept 
conspicuous to date as from this the afore-said combinations appeared in 
it and their factual realities, taking on different forms, kept projecting 
themselves before the world- The same realities have adopted these 
different manifestations which we are presenting under the name of 
Tarikh-s Dor al-Ulum (History of the Dor al-Ulum). So, as far as this 
history of the Dar al-Ulum is concerned, its compilation too was 
necessary and ineluctable, because in this world, the abiding of the soul 


without body is impossible. Hence, the body and its conditions and 
ailmenis cannot be overlooked; on the contrary, as regards thousands 
of expediencies, it is necessary and inevitable; otherwise, had these 
historical facts and events of the predecessors not been consequential, 
exemplary, a guidance and a mercy, it would not have been said that 
"in their history there is a lesson for men of understanding. It is no 
invented story but a confirmation of the existing (Scripture) and a 
detailed explanation of everything, and a guidance and merry for fokl 
who believe" (XII : 111) 

Hence it was necessary that a picture of its foundation, its 
construction, its administrative mode, its manner of working, its esteemed 
personalities, its curriculum, its method of teching, its reputed scholars, 
its council-members, its officials, and the incidents and events pertaining 
to it, should be drawn, another name of which is history. My own 
sincere and long-felt emotion from the very beginning was the same 
that these things should be compiled historically highlighting the 
importance of chronology especially under these three headings: !)■ 
The Founder of the Dar al-Ulum, 2). The Biography of the Founder 
of the Dar al-Ulum, and 3)- The History of the Dar al-Ulum. So, so 
far as the first caption is concerned, a detailed article has already been 
published about it. 

Then, the compilation of the biography of the founder of the Dar 
al-Ulum has been done, at the instance of this very humble writer, by 
Maulana Manazir Ahsan Gilani, in three volumes, entitled Sawctnh-e 
Qasimi. Moreover, Maulana Anwar al-Hasa.n Sherkoti has independen- 
tly compiled it in two volumes which have already seen the light of the 
day. And several other gentlemen too have committed its necessary 
parts to writing which are being published in the form of articles- 

As far as the history of the Dar al-Ulum is concerned, it was my own 
hecrt-felt desire that I should compile it, but it required the turning of 
pages, leisure, and composure of mind which I could scarsely have in full 
measure due to the diffused and extensive works of the management of 
the Dar al-Ulum. Nevertheless, as it was a heart-felt emotion, it went on 
gushing out to be put into practice. In AH. 1348, which was the first 
year of my charge as vice-chancellor, following a 6-7-year period of 
rectorohip, this humble writer compiled a 67-year report which was not 
a history proper of the Dar al-Ulum but it did outline its history. For 
this I also convened a meeting in the compus of the Dar al-Ulum, inviting 
local and outside esteemed persons; it was held under the chairmanship 


of a member of the council, Shaikh Zia ai-Haq Rajupuri and the said 
report, which proved very apt, effective and beneficial, was read out in 
this meeting- Thereafter this humble writer started from the Dar al-Ulum 
an extraordinary quarterly journal, entitled Aa'ina-e Dar al-Uium, in 
which a summary of year-wise and some historical particulars was being 
given- Besides a moral benefit from this, financial gain appeared in the 
form of increase in contributions regarding which letters were being 
received and contributions went on increasing- Thereafter, in A.H. 1385, 
in connection with the general administration, education and relevant 
conditions, some pages were compiled in a methodical and general 
manner and published in book form- The office published it under the 
title Tarikh-e Dar ai-Uium, though it was not a history proper of the Dar 
al-Ulum; it was merely an introduction, but, apart from year-wise parti- 
culars, in a methodical and general form, in which, under systematic 
captions, some examples had been presented. Strict enquiry and en- 
compassment were not in view- At all events, ail this happened but the 
column of the history of the Dar al-Ulum remained blank as usual and it 
was urgently needed- This problem came up in the Council and its need 
was felt unanimously. In view of its extensive compilation and impor- 
tance, our respectable brother, Sayyid Mahbood Rizvi, superintendent of 
the Record Office of the Dar al-Ulum, who is endowed with a penchant 
for history and affinity with this art a.nd has had a natural knack of his- 
toriography, was chosen for this task of writing the history. Whenever 
historical questions come up in the Dar al-Ulum, help is taken about 
them from him only and he discharges this work with great acumen, in an 
excellent manner- So this choice in connection with the history of the Dar 
al-Ulum proved very apt and apposite- Devoting ail his time to this great 
and laborious task, he has acquitted himself well of his responsibility and 
the fact cannot be denied that he has given a remarkable proof of ex- 
cellent methodology, collection of necessary information and therewith, in 
a historiographical style, ex cathedra references and documentary proofs, 
particulars under concise headings, analyses of matters, details at the 
place of details and compact synopsis at the place of synopsis- 

The chronicles have been arranged in the best manner; the diction 
is fluent and pellucid- In the narration of events, references which are 
historiographically necessary and conducive to satisfaction have been 
given, which is something worthy of praise and congratulations- May 
Allah reward him well ! 

I was myself benefitted by this history. While reading it I was 
uttering Masha Allah (Wha£ Allah willeth I) here and there- It was his 


desire that i should pen some lines regarding it by way of an introduction, 
but in narrating the history he has not left any scope for any other person 
to pick up the pen to write on this topic. 

However, with this portraiture and picturisation of ihe Dar al-Ulum 
the need was felt that the reality and significance of the Dar al-Ulum 
should also be brought to the fore so that along with the presentation of 
the face the presentation of the reaiity too may appear on these pages- 
Sc 1he matters which our Sayyid Sahib has presented by way of history, 
I have presented the same as the sources of his history, and I understand 
that by these lines depicting the spiritual significances both the form and 
reality of the Dar al-Ulum will come to the fore all at once through this 
picturisalion of i ts history, and the Dar al-Ulum will become conspicuous 
with its external and internal qualities- "And Grace is from Allah Alone". 

Muhammad Tayyib. 
22nd. Rajab, Vice-Chancellor. 

AH. 1396. Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. 

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful 


The nightingale's tumult infused spirit in the garden, 
otherwise every bud here was deep in graceful sleeps 

The day of Thursday, 15th Muharram, A.H. 1283 (May 30, 1866), 
was that blessed and auspicious day in the Islamic history of India when 
the foundation-stone for the renaissance of Islamic sciences was laid in 
the land of Deoband- Seeing the simple and ordinary manner in which 
it had been started, it was difficult to visualise and decide that a mad- 
rasah beginning so humbly, with utter lack of equipments, was destined 
to become the centre, within a couple of years, of the Islamic sciences 
in Asia. Accordingly, before long, students desirous of studying the Book 
and the Sunnah, the Shari'ah and the Tariqa (the spiritual path), began 
to flock here in droves from this sub-continent as well as from neigh- 
bouring and distant countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Bukhara and Samar- 
qand, Burma, Indonesia, Malayasia, Turkey and the far off regions of 
the continent of Africa, and within a short time the radiant rays of 
knowledge and wisdom illumined the heart and mind of the Muslims of 
the contintnt of Asia whh the light of faith (iman) and Islamic culture. 

The time when the Dar a'-Ulum, Deoband, was established, the old 
madrasahs in India had almost become extinct, and the condition of two 
or four that had survived the ravages of time -was not better than that 
of a few glow-worms in a dark night, Apparently it so looked at that 
time as if the Islamic sciences had packed up their kit from India- Urdu 
couplets :— 

■'Wherever one looked, there were talks of polytheism and innovation; 
all the madrasahs with curriculums of the Shari'ah had ceased to exist. 
There was no trace left of the predecessors' grandeur; the era of Islamic 
sovereignty had come to an end". 

Under these circumstances, some men of Allah and divine doctors, 
through their inner light, sensed the imminent dangers. They knew it 
too well that nations have attained their right status through knowledge 
only. So, without depending upon the government of the time, they 


lounded the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, wiin public conn ioutions and co-ope- 
ration. One of the principles that Hazrat Nanautavi (may his secret be 
sancntied) proposed tor ihe Liar al-Ulum and oiner reiigiaus maaiasans is 
also this that the Dar al-Ulum should be run trusting in Allah a.ncl with 
public contributions for which the poor masses alone should be relied upon. 

The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is today a renowned religious and aca- 
demic centre in the Islamic world. In the sub-continent it is the largest 
institution for the dissemination and propagation of Islam and the biggest 
headspring of education in the Islamic sciences- Such accomplished 
scholars have come out from the Dar al-Ulum in every period that they, 
in accordance with the demands of religious needs of the time, have ren- 
dered valuable services in disseminating and spreading correct religious 
beliefs and religious sciences. These gentlemen, besides in this sub-con- 
tinent, are busy in performing religious and academic services in various 
other countries also, and everywhere they have acquired a prominent 
status of religious guidance of the Muslims- The fact is that the Dar al- 
Uium, Deoband, was a great religious, educational andi reformative 
movement in the thirteenth century hijri. It was such a crucial and 
crying need of the time that indifference to and connivance at it could 
cause Muslims to be confronted with inestimable dangers. The caravan 
that comprised only two souls on 15th Muharram, A-H. 1283, has today 
in its train individuals from many countries of Asia! 

For the last one century, the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has been consi- 
dered an incomparable teaching institution for the religious education of 
ihe Muslims not cn!y in the sub-continent but also throughout the Islamic 
world. Besides the Jam'a-e Azhar, Cairo, there is no such institution any- 
where in the Islamic world that may have acquired so much importance 
In point cf antiquity, resorting, centrality and strength of students as 
the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has- The foundation of the Dar 
al-Ulum had been laid in this obscure, sleepy village of India at 
the hands of such sincere and august men that within a short time its 
academic greatness was established in the world of Islam and it began 
to be looked upon as the most popular educational institution of the Isla- 
mic world, students from the Islamic countries flocking to it for the study 
and research of different arts and sciences. A large number of persona- 
lities, well-versed in the religious sciences, found today in the length and 
breadth of this sub-continent has quenched its thirst from this very 
great river of knowledge, and eminent religious doctors (ulema) have been 
cnce the alumni of this very educational institution- It is a fact that as 
regards the worth of academic services not cnfy in the sub-continent but 


also in other Islamic countries there is no other educational institution, 
except one or two, that may have rendered such weighty and important 
religious and academic services to the Muslim community. The achieve- 
ments of the ulema of the Dar al-Uium in the fields of religion, education, 
missionary-work and book-writing have been acknowledged repeatedly 
not only in India but also in other Islamic lands, and in the fields espe- 
cially of guidance and instruction, teaching and preaching they seem to 
be ahead of all others. In the Muslim society of the sub-continent, they 
command a high rank and a lofty position. With the tumult of the fame of 
the Dar al-Ulum even the academic assemblies of Afghanistan, Bukhara and 
Samarqond reverberated. Its graduates became deans and prin:ipa's of 
great madrasahs, and it is an authentic history and a fact to assert 
that this spring of grace of the Dar ol-Ulum, Deoband, by virtue of its 
elhos, has been busy for more than a century in quenching the thirst of 
the seekers of knowledge of different sciences and the whole of Asia is 
redolent with the aroma of this prophetic garden. Among the hundreds 
of thousands of seminaries in the world of Islam today there are only two 
such institutions on which the Muslims have relied most of all: the one is 
Jam'a-e Azhcr, Cairo, and the other is Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. The reli- 
gious services both these institutions of learning have rendered to the 
Muslims are sui generis- These very religious, academic and intellectual 
services of the Dar al-Ulum have made it a cynosure in the Islamic world. 
And what is more astonishing is that all these advancements have been 
made by the Dar al-Ulum without being dependent on the government. 
The blessings (barakat) of the Dar al-Ulum and its universal beneficence 
are indicating that upon this academic institution a special theophany 
(lajalli) of divine and prophetic knowledge has cast its light which regu- 
larly continues to attract hearts towards it. What and how many great 
achievements the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, made, what and how many reno- 
wned personalities it produced and how they imprinted the stamp of 
their service and utility in every field of religious life— all these things you 
will know by going through this history of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. 

Hcwevermuch pride and joy the Muslims of the sub-continent express 
over the existence of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, there can be no doubt 
about its being correct and justified. The history of the Dar al-Utum in 
the present times is a bright chapter in the history of the Muslims' effort 
and endeavour; this great struggle for the survival of religion and free- 
dom of thought cannot be overlooked in- the history of Islam and the 
Muslims, The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is in fact a shoreless ocean from 
which, besides those of this sub-continent, the seekers of knowledge of 
the whole of Asia are benefitting. If the history of the Dar al-Ulum is 


studied minuteiy, a perspicacious reader will not fail to see the reality 

that it is not merely an old-iype teaching institution; it is in fact a 

stupendous movement for the revival of Islam and the survival of the 

The establishment of this seminary in the land of Deoband and its 
stability is the result of a concerted effort and endeavour of the Muslims 
of the sub-continent. Service to religion, support io Islam, renaissanre of 
Islamic arts and sciences and their dissemination, and help to the students 
craving religious knowledge are the special and momentous achievements 
of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, For one hundred and fourteen years it has 
been rendering, as per the pious predecessors' tack, the right-type of aca- 
demic and gnostic training to the Muslims. Even as Cairo, after the fall 
of Baghdad, became the centre of Islamic arts and sciences, exactly in the 
same way, after the decline of Delhi, academic centrality fell to the lot 
of Deoband, and great illustrious personalities rose up from this teaching 
institution, innumerable scholars were fostered in its laps, ond thousands 
of ulema. Shaikhs, tradifionists, jurisconsults, authors and experts of other 
arts and sciences were produced here and, having become an adonment 
in the firmament of knowledge and action, rendered and are still render- 
ing services to religion in different manners in every nook and corner of 
the sub-continent- The history of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is a his- 
torical chapter on an epoch-making period in the history of Islam as a 
whole. The long and short of this is that this overflowing ocean of 
arts and sciences has so far assuaged the thirst of a very large number 
of the seekers of knowledge, who havinq become the vernal air, have 
spread its academic aura in the four corners of the world- Those who 
benefitted from the Dar al-Ulum are like a luxuriant tree the green and 
fresh branches and foliage of which it is not easy to compute. 

The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has been a centre of both the Shariah 
and the Tariqa from the very day of its inception. All the moons and 
stars hi the sky of the Shariah and the Tariqa and knowledge and action 
that are at the time shining in the sub-continent have been mostly illumi- 
nated by this very brilliant sun, and have) come out assuaged from this 
very headspring of knowledge and gnosis- Every one knows that most 
of the great ulema of the sub-continent have been the alumni of this very 
institution and those who feasted at the dinner-cloth of the Dar al-Ulum 
are now present in most of the Asian countries, where as well as in the 
sub-continent and certain other foreign lands, they have enkindled the 
lamps of the Book and the Sunnah, and have imparted the grace of 
instruction and guidance to countless people. 


The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has played a great part in investing the 
Muslims' thoughts and views with freshness and sacredness, their hearts 
with ambition and courage, and their bodies with strength and energy. 
Its beneficence is universal and countless men, to satisfy whose academic 
eagerness ihere were no means available, have quenched their thirst 
from it. At the same time, on the model of the Dar al-Uium sprang up 
many religious and academic springs, each having its own particular 
circle cf i.s benefit and grace. They are all the stars of this very solar 
system by the light of which every nook and corner of the religious and 
academic life of the Muslims of the sub-continent is radiant. 

Very little attention has been paid to this benefit of these religious 
schools that on account of them the condition of millions of Muslim 
families has been ameliorated, the Muslims' inferiority complex was 
removed and that through these schools became available to the 
community innumerable such individuals, who, according to the 
conditions and time, guided the AAuslims in the different aspects of life. 
Besides their great services in the revival of Islam, they awakened 
political consciousness among the Muslims and took leading part in the 
struggle for freedom as a result of which the countries of the sub- 
continent acquired independence. 

Even as in the past the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has rendered 
invaluable services to the cause of Islam, the Muslims and the religious 
sciences, it is hoped that in future too it will continue to discharge the 
obligation of inciting the Muslims' power of action, of strengthening 
the faiths and of preaching and propagating Islam. 

Although the pearl-showering cloud of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, 
is busy in its work over the world of Islam since about the end of the 
thirteenth century hijri, very few people are aware of its particulars. 
It has always been the policy of the elders of the Dar al-Ulum that 
instead of giving publicity to their work they have kept the spirit of 
work in view, for which the publishing of the annual report was 
considered sufficient and that too merely for the reason that the 
sympathisers of the Dar al-Ulum may continue to know the expenditure 
of their contributions and be aware of the educational results of those 
young men whom the community has given into the laps of the Dar al- 
Ulum. This is the reason that full attention is paid in the report to the 
income and expenditure of contributions and to the presenting of the 
annual results of the students- However, incidentally, 

the events of that particular year are also written, but these events in 


the long life of the Dar al-Ulum are so scattered in the annual reports 
that it is not easy to derive benefit from them. 

In connection with the history of the Dar al-Ulum, first of all 
Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib (may his shadow never grow less!), 
I lie present Vice-Chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum, wrote, in A.H, 1335, a 
small book, entitled Dar al-Ulum Ki Sod-sala Zfndigi {"A Hundred-Year 
Life cf the Dar al-Ulum"), in which he has presented a brief and concise 
account of the conditions and particulars of the Dar al-Ulum, and its 
educational, missionary and administrative affairs. However, 

important events of the Dar al-Ulum were required to be presented in 
detail so as to provide data for the academic history of the Muslims of 
India- But it was necessary that a group of seasoned scholars should 
have undertaken this tosk of compiling the said history and should have 
presented their combined efforts after due inquiry and disquisition, 
and yet what actually happened is that the Majlis-e Shura (Consultative 
Committee^ of the Dar al-Ulum selected a man of imperfect knowledge, 
semi-literate and know-nothing like me. Besides my incompetence it 
may also be kept in mind that this is the first impression and hence 
defects and mistakes are bound to be found in it. 

No human work can be free from drawbacks and flaws and 
omissions, and hence the History cf the Dar al-Ulum can never be claimed 
to be complete or the last word. As it is after all the first atlempt, I 
have only sifted and colligated the diffused and scattered particulars about 
the Dar al-Ulum to the best of my ability. These events were dispersed 
like the scattered leaves of a book but now they are before you in the 
form of a bound book. Since this stupendous work is beyond the 
power of a single man to complete— it was rather to be performed by a 
board of authors— the presence of defects and imperfections is unavoi- 
dable for which the present writer apologises- Nevertheless the reason 
cf my complacency is :— 

(Urdu Coulphet). 

"What has the beauty of spirit the need of my adorning it, for nature 
itself applies henna to the tulip"? 

For whatever things have escaped mention here or those that have 

been dealt with cursorily or incompletely, one will have to await the 
second edition. 

It is also necessary to submit here that the Dar al-Ulum, during its 

long history, has faced many movements and institutions and it is but 
natural that the impressions and ideas of all of them concerning it cannot 


be the same- On such occasions it has been the effort of this writer not 
to let slip the skirt of justness from his hands, as far as possible. Hence on 
such controversial evenls the pen has been set to paper with great prudence 
and circumspection, trying to pass by such places quickly. After the laps of 
Icng periods over them it is now of no earthly use to describe all the 
particulars and details and hence such incidents have been mentioned 
only briefly. 

The annually published reports are the main source of the particulars 
presented in the History of the Dar al-Ulum Some of these are also based 
on the day-to-day conditions and personal observation. Besides, wherever 
help has been taken from any other source, reference has been given to it. 
The mind of the reader is to a great extent satisfied about an event by 
the reference and everyone getting a chance to evaluate the report can 
form the opinion that whatever has been stated is reliable ar not. More- 
over, a great advantage that has been in view from giving source-refe- 
rence is that the reader will be apprised of many books on this topic, 
thus facilitating the work of those who might wish to work on it later on. 
The path, as though, has been blazed, the river has become fordable, and 
now anyone who wishes to do so can ford through it with ease. 

Under the description of events the texts of the reports have been re- 
produced verbatim at certain places and, at some, their meaning has 
been given in my own words; this difference is in regard to the occasion 
and time- The main reason behind this idea is that the reader's mind, 
at all events, should remain nearer to the original text and its style of 
writing so as to make him understand the author's manner of thought, 
writing and expression, and derive benefit thereby within possible limits- 

All know it well that it is usually very difficult to write on a new 
theme. The present writer has dared "to dig through this Mount Besutun", 
success and felicity are in the hands of Allah Most High. The difficulties 
and hardships this writer has to pass through in the compilation of this 
history of the Dar al-Utum can be well estimated by men of insight- 
However, whatever [ have been able to accomplish is before you; none- 
theless I do hope that this my effort will provide a facility of sorts for 
those who, in future, may intend to work on this topic. If Allah Most 
High bestow grace, the second impression will be better than this. 

The history of the Dar al-Uium has been divided into several chap- 
ters and it has been tried to compile each chapter in such a way that 
detached from its prior and subsequent chapters it can be made into a 
separate bock. As such the readers are likely to find repeitition ati some 
places but it was unavoidable because of the above-mentioned expedience- 


Allah alone knows better how far this effort of the wriier nas succee- 
ded; however, it has been my endeavour to produce such a picture of the 
conditions and events of the Dar a!-Ulum whereby the objective of the 
mcvemen! of ihe 1 Dar al-Ulum may be brought out cmj it may be known 
how far the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has achieved the objectives for the 
Muslims with which it had come into existence- 

"Our Lord I Accept from us (this duty) Lo ! Thou, only 
Thou, art the Hearer, the knower"- {II : 127) 

!n the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, from the very beginning to date, the 
hijri year has been in the vogue; in our old histories also the same year P 

was used, but from the 19th Christian century onwards the Christian year 
has come inio general use- So, as regards years, the present writer has 
used both ihe Christian and the Hijri years; but in writing thsse, it has 
been made necessary that taking the reported year to be the original it 
has been stated before with the corresponding year after it. Hence at 
most places the Hijri year comes before but at some places the Christian 
year too has been mentioned before. From this undertaking the reader 
can easily know which of the two is the original year and, therefore, 
more considerable. 

The present writer is gratful from the bottom of his heart to Hakim 
al-lslam Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, Vice-chancellor of the Dar al- 
Uium, Deoband (may his shadow last long!), Maulana Qazi Zayn a!-Abidin 
Sajjad, and Maulana Sa'eed Ahmed Akbarabadi, member of the Majlis-e 
Shura- Were the guidance and valuable opinions of these gentlemen 
not available to me, it would have been difficult to complete this history. 
May Allah Most High bestow upon them good recompense and great 
wages, and on me more chances of benefitting from them in future as 
well ! 

Hakim al-lslam Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, not withstanding 
his old age and weakness, has taken the trouble of writing a valuable 
introduction for this history; it is such a magnificant affection and favour 
to his attendants which is very much beyond the present writer's thanks- 

Sayyid Mahboob Rizvi, 
Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. 

13th Rajab al-Murajjab, A.H. 1396. 

— July 22, 1976. 



In Islam madrasahs (schools) have originated with the mosques. 
Adjacent to the Prophet's Mosque (in Madina) was that famous dais or 
estrade which is known as "Suffa" in history. Those of the noble Compa- 
nions who used to stay here were called "Ashab-e Suffa" ("Companions of 
the Dais"). There were teachers appointed to teach them. Whenever a 
preacher had to be sent anywhere to give the call of and preach Islam, the 
same persons were sent. 1 

How much importance teaching and learning had in the Holy Pro- 
phet's (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him ! ) eyes can be estimated 
from this incident that once when he came to the Prophet's Mosque, he 
saw the noble Companions sitting in two separate circles, the people in 
one busy in reading the Quran and invocations and in the other they 
were engaged In teaching and learning the holy Quran. Seeing this, he 
said :— 

"Verily ! have been ordained and sent as a teacher". 2 
Saying this, he joined the circfe busy in the Quranic study. 

Till the fourth century Hijri mosques were being utilized for the pur- 
pose of imparting education. During this period the founding of madrasahs 
(seminaries) and maktabs (primary schools) side by side mosques was a 
genera! trend. It acquired such universal popularity that this system, 
more or less, still continues in the mosques of every Islamic counlry. 


The origin of the present type of regular madrasahs in Islam dates 
back to the fifth century hijri. It is generally held that it was Nizam el- 
Mulk Tusi (d. 485/1092) who, in the world of Islam, established the first 
madrasah named Madrasa-e Nizamia, at Baghdad. But this view is not 

1. Slrat al-Nabi. Vol. t, p. 215, 1st ed., Nami Press, Kanpur. 

2. Sunan-e Ibn Maja, chap. Fadl al-UIama. 


correct. The honour of this antecedence, in fact, was destined for the 
illustrious sovereign of Afghanistan, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi 
(d. 421/1030). Accordingly, in 410/1019, the Sultan buiil ar his capital, 
Ghazni, a Jama Masjid, which, because of its elegance and beauty, 
was famous by the name "Uroos-e Falak" ("the Bride of the Sky"). The 
Sultan, along with the mosque, had also constructed a building for a 
madrasah. Attached to the madrasah there was aiso a library, full of 
rare books, and for the expenses of the mosque and the madrasah the 
Sultan had endowed many villages. Abul Qasim Farishta, the famous 
historian's statement is that 

"he (the Sultan) founded a madrasah near the mosque, coliec;ed 
excellent and rare books in its library, and, for the expenses of the 
mosque and the madrasah, endowed many villages". 1 

The Sultan's example created an ardour in the nobles and "pillars 
of the state" also for founding madrasahs and within a short time innume- 
rable madrasahs were dotting the districts surrounding Ghazni. Farishta 
writes :— 

"As per the demands of "the people follow the path of their kings', 
the nobles of the state began to vie with one another in building mos- 
ques, madrasahs, inns and hospices". 2 

Ghazni, in those days, by reason of its multitudinous population 
and cultural progress, was competing with Baghdad, which was then the 
greatest cultural centre of the Islamic world and the capital of the AbbasrJ 
caliphate. 'Men of learning and accomplishments, erudite scholars and 
talented poets were being drawn to it from all over the world. 

Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi's son Sultan Mas'ud (422/1030-432/1040) 
also maintained the traditions of his illustrious father; accordingly, he 
founded a number of madrasahs in his dominions. Farishta states :~ 


1. According 1o a report of Ibn-Kathir's A!-Badeya waVNihaya, although clue is 
found of a such a madrasah in which traditionists and jurisprudents had been 
appointed as teachers during the reign of the ruler of Egypt, Al-Hakim be- 
Amrillah (386.996 — 411/1020), but after two. three years, he himself got this 
madrasah demolished. For details, vide ibn Kathir's Al-Bedava wal-Nihaya, 
vol. xi. p. 342, Sa'adah Press; and also Ibn Athir's Hashia-e Tarikh al-Kamil, 
under "conditions" of AH. 400. 

1 & 2 Tarikti-e Farishta. vol. i. p. 30. Nawal Kishore Press, Lucknow. 


"In the beginning of his reign he built so many madrasahs and 
mcsques in his territories that the human tangue is helpless in stating 
their number" 1 . 

Abu Raihan Biruni's famous book, Qanun-e Mas'udi, has been dedicated 
to the same Sultan Mas'ud, 


Though the Muslims had entered north-west India, upto Sind and the 
Punjab, as conquerers, the drizzle of the cloud of blessings of Islam had 
begun to fall on the coastal areas of India and its mountain-valleys as 
early as the later years of the first century hijri The Arab traders, having 
reached the southern regions of India, particularly Malabar, had not only 
set up their habitations there but had also come to have a hold on the 
local markets- From ancient times Arabia and India have been linked with 
each other in commercial and cultural relations. The Muslims' position in 
south India and their academic activities can be estimated somewhat from 
the accounts of travellers who happened to visit this region 'ater— in the 
third and the fourth centruies of the Hijri era- Ibn Hauqal, a famous tra- 
veller of the fourth century hijri, writing as an eye-witness about the condi- 
tions prevailing there, says that generally a large arouo of divines, scholars 
and jurisprudents used to stay in the mosques and the number of those 
who used to throng to derive benefit from the said scholars and jurispru- 
dents would be so qreot that to whichever mosque you might go you would 
see shoulders brushing against shoulders, 2 

The fact is that the period of the message of Islam and its soirilual 
conquests in India had beaun much earlier than the triumphant en*rv of 
the Muslim conauerers. A large numb=r of Arab colonies had mush- 
roomed in Sri Lanka (CevlonV Maldives. Travancore. Coromandal, Guiarat, 
Malabar, etc. In these regions the Muslims had been given a warm 
welcome and the message of Islam was now spreadina gradually and 
winninq hearts- The bounty of Islam was common for the whole huma- 
nity, makinq no distinction between the white and the black, the master 
and the slave. It was a vernal could that irriaated all land, high and 
low, qardpn and desert. Accordina to n statement of Sulavman the 
Trader (237/857), verv aood relations had developed between the Muslim 
traders nnd the local rajahs- In Guiarat a aazi, who was desiqnated 
"Hunarmand", used to be onpointed by the local government for decidina 

1. Farishta. op: cit, p. 44. 

2. Satar Nama-e Ibn Hauqal. p 325. Leirien, 


the cases of >he Muslims and he used to decide the Muslims' cases 1 
During that period numerous Muslim settlements had developed and 
mosques had been built in them- 

These Arab merchants who used to be educated men with sufic 
knowledge did business in the bazars, mixed with the populace and 
presenting the practical example of their virtuous and simple life used to 
change the course of the people's lives and their trends of thought 
and view. The famous English author, Prof, Sir T.W. Arnold also acknow- 
ledges this fact in the following words : — 

"But among the sixty millions of Indian Musa'mans there are vast 
number of converts or descendents of converts, in whose conversion 
force played no part and the only influences at work were the teaching 
and persuasion of peaceful missionaries"- 2 


The founding of independent Muslim rule in the middle of north 
India begins in the early seventh century hijri from the period of Qutub 
al-Din Aibak (602/1209— 606/ 1209). In Multan, Nasir al-Din Qubacha, 
who was ruler there, built a madrasah. The renowned scholar and 
author, Qazi Minhaj-e Siraj (d, 658/1259) states that the management of 
this madrasah was in his charge- He has written that : 

"in the month of Zil-hijjah, 624/T226. the Madrasa-e Firozi of Uchcha 
was given in my charge-" 3 

This was the early period of the great sufi-divine, Shaikh Baha al- 
Din Zakariyya Multoni (578/1182—666/1267). He used to say his pre- 
dawn prayers daily in this very madrasah. Names of two more madra- 
sahs of that period are found in history; their names were Madrasa-e 
Mui'zzia and Madrasah-e Nasiriyya. 

Qubacha had established another madrasah in Multan on the occa- 
sion of Maulana Qutub al-Din Kashani's arrival from Tronsoxiana 
(Mawara al-Nahi") ond Maulana Kashani was engaged in teaching 

there for a long time- 4 

1. Ibid., p. 233. 

2. Preaching cr Islam p. 257. Pub.; Lahore, 1961. 

3. Tabaqat-e Naslrl, p. 124, Pub.; Asiatic Society, Calcutta. 

4. Tarikh-e-Farishta, vol. ii, pp. 408 and 292. 


At that lime, about Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji, who was the first 
to conquer Bengal, Farishta has stated : — 

"In Bengal he founded a city, named Rangpur, and made it his capital 
instead of the Nadia town, and there as well as in the territory he built 
mosques, hospices and madrasahs according to the practice of Islam, 
decoratinp all of them with complete splendour as per the vogue". 1 

By the eighth century hijri the custom of estab'ishing islamic schools 
had become common in India- Accordingly, as per Allamah Magrizi's 
report, there were as many as one thousand madrasahs in Delhi alone 
during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq (725/1324—752/1351), 
Salaries for teachers were fixed from the royal treasury. Education 
was so much common that slave-girls used to be hafiz of the Quran and 
divine scholars- Along with religions sciences the rationa 1 - sciences and 
mathematics were also taught. Muhammad Tughlaq himself was a 
highly accomplished scholar and a patron of learning- Besides the holy 
Quran, he remembered books of several arts by hearts and all the four 
volumes of the Hedaya were at the tip of his tonque- 2 

An idea of the magnificence of the madrasahs built by Muhammad 
Tughiaq's successor, Firoz Tughlaq (752/1351-790/1388) can be formed 
from this statement of Zia al-Din Barni that "the Madrasah-e Firozshahi 
of Delhi, c* regards i1s grandeur, beauty of building, site, good manage- 
ment and excellence of education has had no parallel. For expenses 
royal grants have been fixed No other building in the capital, Delhi, 
can match with it in beauty of construction and the suitability of its 
location- The building of the madrasah is very spacious, situated in a 
garden on the bank of a pond. Hundreds of students, divine doctors 
and scholars are always present here- Residential quarters for students 
and teachers are aso there. On marble floors in the graves of the 
garden they are seen engaged unencumbered in their academic pursuits"- 

While Firoz Shah started new madrasahs, he also renovated the old 
ones, issued stipends for the divine scholars and teachers from the royal 
treasury and endowed big fiefs for the madrasahs* 

It stands out as a very important feature of the academic services 
rendered by Firoz Shah that he paid special attention to the education and 

1. Tarikh-e Farishta, vol. ii, pp. 408 and 292. 

2. Kitab al-Khatat by Allamah Maqrizi. vol. ii, p. 134. 

3. Tarikr-e Firozshahi. p. 569. 

4. Tarikh-t Farishta. vol. i, p. 151. 


training of slaves and their children- Besides the memorizing of the holy 
Quran, th& slaves were also provided a chance to acquire other religious 
sciences, and besides education, they were also taught industries and 
crafts- According to a statement of 5hams Siraj Afif, as many as 1,80,000 
slaves acquired education and training in different arts, sciences and 
crafts- 1 

The same Firoz Shah established separate schools for girls also- The 
world-renowned glob-trotter, Ibn Batutah, describing a place, Hanor, in 
south India, has written; "(Many) women here know Quran by heart; 
I saw thirteen schools for girls in this city." 2 

In the madrasahs founded in his dominions by the ruler of the Deccan, 
Sultan Muhammad Adil Shah (895/1489—916/1510) who held sway over 
the sultanate or Bijapur, the students were given, besides the usual ordinary 
food, such rich dishes as biryani (a rich, saffron-scented, preparation of 
rice and meat) and muza'far (another rich, saffron-scented, sweet dish of 
rice) daily, and each student received a gold coin, called hoon, 3 per month- 
Regarding a madrasah named Athaar in the Deccan, the author of Bustan 
al-Salatin has written that : 

''the students, on the dinner-cloth of Athaar, were served soup and 
bread along with biryani and muza'far in the morning and wheat- 
bread and 'khichri' (a dish made of split pulse and rice boiled together) 
in the evening and each one of them received one hoon also. Besides 
this they were also helped with books of Arabic and Persian"-* 

The Sharqi Sultans were the rulers of Jaunpur, in eastern India. 
They built hundreds of madrasahs and, inviting scholars and men of 
accomplishments from distant countries granted them valuable fiefs. 
The academic and educational superiority of Jaunpur lasted till the last 
period of the Lodi Sultans- The building of the madrasah attached to 
the Atala Mosque is extant to date. Around the mosque sprawls a vast 
chain of rooms, The famous and clever king of India, Sher Shah Suri 
(877/1472—952/1545) had been the alumnus of this very mosque-semi- 
nary- 5 

1. Tarikh-e Firozshahi by Shams Siraj Afif, pp. 191-2. 

2. Urdu Translation of Safar Natna-e Ibn Bati'.tah. p. 702, Pub.; Nafees Academy, 
Karachi. The present name of Hanor is Harnor, which is a tehsil in Maharash- 
tra state. 

3. Hoon was a gold coin current in the Deccan. Tht Urdu idiom ' : hun barasna" 
has been coined from the same coin; it means "to rain gold". 

4. Bustan al-Salatin, reftrred to in Hindustan men Musalmano ka Nizam-e Talim 
wa Tarbiat, p. 419, Nadvat al-Musannafin, Delhi. 

5. Jaunpur Nama, p. 4, & Siyar al-Mutakhirin, vol. i, p. 140 


in the last phase of the 18th century Jaunpur had been attached to 
the possessions of the East India Company- About the past glory of 
Janupur it is stated in the government documents of that era as under :— 

"About jaunpur, which was the centre of the Muslims' arts and science 
and a resort of the ulema, a city which was entitled "the Shiraz of 
India", where there were numerous madrasahs, and of which now has 
been left nothing but a tale of past gjory, we can say that it was 
indeed the Shiraz of India or Paris of the middle ages- Every prince 
of Jaunpur prided himself over the fact that he was a patron of know- 
ledge and philosophy. In this peaceful land of the roval capital, 
scholars and philosophers used to be busy in an all-out effort in every 
kind of academic progress- Til! Muhammad Shah's regime 20 famous 
madrasahs were extant in Jaunpur but of which names alone now 
have survived- The founder of one of them belonged to the middle 
of the 15th century, and of the other, to the middle of the 17th 
century". 1 

Sultan Sikander Lodi (894/1488-923/1517) built a number of tra- 
vellers' rest houses, madrasahs and mosques during his reign and it was 
during his regime that the Hindus bogan to lean Persian. 2 

Sn Lucknow Shah Pir Muhammad (d. 1085/1674) kept educational acti- 
vities alive for a long time. His being was a source of grace and blessings. 
After him his weli-quided disciple, Mulla Gulam Muhammad Naqshband 
(d. 1126/1714) added more brilliance to the cause of education. Shah 
Pir Muhammad's madrasah and hospice, situated on the bank of the 
Gomti in Lucknow, are known as Teela Pir Muhammad. 5 ' 

As regards Shaikh Pir Muhammad's institution, Mufti Muhammad 
Reza Ansari Fargngimahli's disquisition is that three hundred years ago 
there was arrangement for the residence of seven hundred students in it- 
It was in this institution that Hazrat Ghulam Muhammad Nagshband, the 
great teacher of Mulla Nizam al-Din Farangimahli, the originator of the 
famous Dars-ie Nizam,i (the Nizami Curriculum) was inspiring students 
with his imparting of knowledge, and it was again here that Ailamah 
Ghulam Yahya Bihari (d. AH. 1180) was gracing the mctsnad of 
teaching- 4 

1. Musaimano ki Qadeem Is'ami Darsgahen, p. 42, Pub.; Ma'arif Press, Azamgarh. 

2. Tsrikli-e FarishSa, vol. i, p. 187. 

3. Hayat-e Shibli, p. 15. 

4. ' Zamima-e Roznama Osum-i Awaz. Lucknow, dattd March 18, 1973, vide its 

article Bahr-e Zakhkhar aur Uska Musannif. p. 2. 


During the reigns of Humayun (d 963/1555) and Akbar 963/1555 
—101 4] 1605) also there was an unusual increase in the number of mad- 
rasahs- In 969/1561, Akbar's foster-mother, Maham Begum, started 
a madrash in Delhi the chronogrammatic name of which was "Khayar 
al--Manzil". The ruins of the dilapidated building of this madrasah are 
s'ill extant opposite to and near the Old Fort in old Delhi. 

Shaikh Abd al-Haq Dehelvi (d. 1052/1642) has stated in his Akhbar 
al-Akhyar regarding his own pursuit of studies that, after having acquired 
primary education, he went to another madrasah of which the name, 
as stated by him, was Madrasah-e Delhi. Later on the Shaikh himself 
graced the masnad of teaching in this madrasah 1 

Maulana Ghulam AM Azad Bilgirami has stated :— 

"Much of the area of the provinces of Oudh and Allahabad consisls 
of the habitations of men of noble descent, each situated at a distance 
of ten to twenty miles from one another, and these high-born men have 
had fiefs granted by Sultans and governors- There is an abundance 
of mosques, madrasahs and hospices in this region- Everywhere the 
teachers and professors keep their doors wide open for the seekers 
of knowledge and persude them to acquire knowledge, wherefore 
students, in batches after batches, keep moving from one habitation 
to another, and everywhere they acquire knowledge with peace and 
tranquillity- The well-to-do people of each habitation fully look after 
the needs of the students and consider it a great felicity to be of service- 
to them- It was for this reason that Emperor Shah Jahan used to 
remark: "Purab (i.e., the eastern Gangetic plain) is our Shiraz". 2 

During Shah Jahan's reign (1037/1627-1068/1657) Delhi, Lahore, 
Sialkot, Ahmedabad and Jaunpur were such centres of art and science 
that students, besides those of India, were drawn to them from as far as 
Herat and Badakhshan. In Sialkot Mulla Kamal Kashmiri was an insti- 
tution in himself; the famous scholar of the rational sciences, Mulla Abd 
al-Hakim Sialkoti had been taught and trained by the same Mulla Kamal. 

The Fatehpuri Mosque and the Akbarabadi Mosque were built 
during Shah Jahan's regime. The madrasah at the Fatehpuri Mosque is 

1. Akhbar al- Akhyar, p. 492. 

2. Ma'athir al-Karam, vol. i, pp. 221-2. 


a noble relic of the same period- The Akbarabadi Mosque has, however, 
fallen a victim to the ravages of time. It was this latter mosque where 
Hazrat Shah Abd al-Qadir Dehelvi once put up. Maulana Muhammad 
Ismail Shaheed (d. V246/1 830,. and Maulana Fazl Haq Khairbdi (d. 
1278/1861) had acquired education in the same mosque. 

In 1060/1649, Shah Jahon had built a magnificent madrasahh, 
which he had named "Dar a J -Baqa/' near the Jama Masjid, in its soun- 
thern direction. This madrasah had become defunct in the early 13th 
century K t j r 1- Mufti Sadr al-Din Azurda (d. 1285/1868), in his time, 
revivified it and took upon himself the responsibility of paying its ex- 
pences- Some of our elders have belonged to this madrasah. Hazrat 
Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi too had put up in this madrasah. 1 
During the tumulluous upheaval of 1857 when the English government 
confiscated the respectable Mufti's property, ironically enough, the mad- 
rasah named Dar al-Baqa (the House of Eternity}, received a coup de 
grace and passed out of existence- 

During the Mughal regime the educational advancements of Awrang- 
zeb Alamgir's period (1068/1657-1118/1706) are generally wellknown. 
Besides big cities, Awrangzeb started madrasahs in towns and villages 
also, granted fiefs to scholars and teachers and stipends to students- 
Through his vigorous efforts the candles of knowledge were lighted in 
every province and every city, even towns and villages. 

In Lucknow the great educational institution known as Madrasah-e 
Nizamia, situated in Farangimahal, is a monument of the same period- 
Awrangzeb, in 1105/1693, granted Mulla Nizam al-Din 2 (d. 1161/1747) 

1. Sawanh-t Qasimi, p. 29 & Waqe'at-e Dar al-Hukumat-t Delhi, vol. ii, p. 113. 


Mulla Nizam al-Din Sahalvi was born in A.H. 1089 at Sahali, in Barabanki district. 
He completed his studies in various branches of knowledge under Shaikh 
Ghulam Naqshband, the well-guided pupil of Hazrat Shah Pir Muhammad; and 
for nearly fifty years rendered invaluable services in the field of education in 
Lucknow. It was he who started the madrasah at Farangimahal in Lucknow, 
as also the Nizami Curriculam which is prevalent in the Arabic madrasahs. 
Among the existing madrasahs in India, it is the oldest. From Farangimahal 
arose great and renowned ulema amongst whom Mulla Hasan (d. 1199/1784), 
Bahr al-Ulum Maulana Abd al-Ali (d. 1225/1810), Maulana Abd al-Haleem 
{d. 1285/1868), Maulana Abd al-Hayy (d. 1304/1886), and in the last period, 
Mautana Abd al-Bari, etc., were the resplendent stars of the firmament of 
knowledge and learning. Mulla Nizam al-Din died on 9th Jamadi al - Awwal, 
A.H. 1161 (Tazkira-e Ulama-e Farangimahal}- 

a magnificent mansion which passed by the name of Farangimahal. It 
is the very same Madrasah-e Nizamia where the curriculum of Arabic 
studies was structured and which has been still current, for nearly three 
centuries, in the Arabic madrasahs of India. Though it has undergone 
many changes, it is stiil called and is known as the Nizami Curriculam- 
In ihis seminary of Farangimahal were nurtured great, illustrious uloma 
who have rendered momentous services to the cause of knowledge in 
India- After Mulla Nizam al-Din, his successors such as Bahr al-UIum Mau- 
lana Abd al- Aii, Maulana Abd al-Haleem, Mulla Hasa.n, and later on, 
Maulana Abd al-Hayy, etc., not only graced the masnads of teaching but 
also, through their books, particularly the annotations and scholia of 
text-books, rendered invaluable academic services the echoes of which 
stiil reverberate in the corners of the Arabic schools. 1 

It has been mentioned in the foregone that during Awrangzeb's period 
madrasahs had been opened even m towns and villages- 2 Accordingly, 
in Deoband, too, which was then a small town, there was a madrasah, 
mention of which is found in certain firmans of Awrangzeb- It is stated :— 

"Shaikh Wajih al-Din, son of Shaikh Muhammad Arif-"the Asylum of 
Forgiveness" and conversant with various sciences—, son of Bandagi 
Muhammad lsma'il-"the Asylum of Absolution"-adorned with righte- 
ousness and piety and master of leaning and accomplishment, is busy 
in this hospice, in place of his father, in educating students and Sufis 
and in the remebrance of Allah". 3 

For deails, vide Tazkira-i Ulama-c Famngimahal by Maulana hiayat Allah 

Though a number pf books have been written on the political history of the 
Muslims in India, ii is a pity that very little attention has been paid to their 
academic history. Hence very Utile is traceable about the academic achieve- 
ment- of the Muslims in India. In this connection the source of valuable in- 
formation are those firmans and documents of Muslims rulers and ministers of 
siata which are stiil extant in many families. While these firmans supply a 
lot of other useful information, they also reveal the Muslims rulers' efforts 
which they put in for the progress and difussion of knowledge. Hence it is 
necessary that the families who possess such royal firmans or writings of the 
ministers of state should feel the importance of publishing their photo-copies 
at, at least, their copies so that one may trace the remarkable academic 
activities during the mediaeval period of India. 

Madrasah Ghazi al-Din has always been a buff of changes, the second phase 
of its life commenced in A.D, 1792/A.H. 1207, and in A.D. 1825/A.H. 1241, it 
changed into Delhi College. 


Ghazi al-Din Firoz Jang I (d. 1122/1710", who vacs grandfather of 
Nizam al-Mulk Asafjah I, had founded a madrasah in Delhi near the 
Ajmeri Gate. The same madrasah later on bacame famous as Delhi 
College. Maulana Rasheed al-Din Khan Dehelvi (d. 1243/1827) and 
Maulana Mamluk Ali Nanautavi (d. 1267/1850) have been the prin- 
cipals of this very college 1 . Many of cur elders had acquired education in 
this madrasah. Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi (d- 1297/ 
1880), Hazrat Mauiana Rasheed Ahmed Gongohi (d. 1323/1905), Hazrat 
Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi (d. 1302/1884), Hazrat Maulana 
Muhammad Ashan Nanautavi (d. 1312/1894), Hazrat Maulana Zulfiqar Ali 
Deobandi (d. 1322/1904), Hazrat Maulana Fazl al-Rahman Deobandi 
(d- 1325/1907) and many other ulema have been attached to the skirt of 
grace of this madrasah. Before 1857 this madrasah was a famous 
seminary of Delhi. This madrasah of Ghazi al-Din Firoz Jang is a live 
monument of the madrasahs of that period- From its magnificant and 
spacious building the academic zest and high-spiritedness of our nobles 
can be estimated. A mosque too had been built with this madrasah. 
Ghazi al-Din Firoz Jang I is lying in eternal sleep in the courtyard of the 
same madrasah- 

In Rampur there was Madrasah-e 'Aliya which is still extant. The 
ruler of Rampur, Nawab Faiz Allah Khan, had Invited Bahr al-Ulum 
Maulana Abd al-Ali Farangimahli and appointed him as a teacher. 
Another divine scholar of the same Farangimahal, Mulla Hasan, also 
served in this madrasah as teacher. On account of the educational bene- 
fits of these great scholars knowledge continued to be in high demand in 
Rampur for a long time. 

The attention of our old historians, writing In Persian, in the medi- 
aeval period in India has been mainly centred on the wars and political 
exploits of kings, touching upon academic and cultural achievements here 
and there only incidentally. The interesting topic of the historical taste 
in that era consited in the military and political achievements and hence 
very little mention of the Muslims' achievements in the academic field is 
met with In the mediaeval histories. One reason for this can be this also 
which, as the author of Hindustan Ki Qadeem islarrsi Darsgahen (The Old 
Islamic Educational Institutions of India), in answer to the question. 

1. Hindustan ki Qadeem Islami Darsgahen, p. 33 

2. Ibid. 


"Why are explicative chapters on the past madrasahs of India not met 
with in the old Persian histories"? has pointed out as under:— '■ 

"The Muslims, by virtue of their religious propensity, always looked upon 
the function of imparting and receiving education, of teaching and 
learning, a religious occupation and an act of virtue- Help to students, 
dissemination of education, endowments for the suppy of books and 
other educational materials, the founding and establishing of madra- 
sahs, service and support to the ulema, etc, were considered by them 
to be a religious commandment, conducive to blessings (baraka) and 
prosperity in both the worlds—here and in the hereafter- Hence these 
things too, like other necessities of life, had become a part and parcel 
of their lives. Since the daily, routine actions of a man's life are not 
considered worth mentioning importantly— they are rather mentioned 
cursorily in ordinary words along with other necessities of life V. the 
old historians do not describe in specific chapters and sections the out- 
standing achievements of Muslims in the old days in the field of 

Then, proceeding further, another reason has been given as under :— 
"In olden days there used to be no buildings for educational purposes. 
Mostly mosques were being used for this purpose- All the mosques of 
those days used to serve as madrasahs,- as such, every old spacious 
mosque was a great educational institution also. This is the reason 
that you find spacious and splendid mosques at every step in the old 
Islamic cities of India. The magnificent mosques that were built and 
are still extant in the old Islamic state-capitals like Delhi, Agra, Lahore 
Jaunpur, Ahmedabad (Gujarat), etc-, clearly indicate by their external 
form and appearance that a major portion of them was being used for 
teaching purposes. In these mosques you will still find a vast success- 
ion of small rooms around the courtyard; these were in fact the residen- 
tial quarters for teachers and students. Some of these are still used 
for this purpose; for instance, the rooms that were constructed around 
the extensive courtyards of the Fatehpuri and Akbarabadi mosques, 
which were built in 1060/1649 in Delhi, were especially meant as 
hostels for the students. The hospices of old too were commonly used 
as teaching institutions. The Sufi saints and secluded Shaikhs (spiri- 
tual directors) of the time then did not consider 'striving with the un- 
regerate soul' {mujahcida-ci ncsfs) and 'the daily offices' (woza'if, re- 
citation of holy names or verses prescribed by the Shaikh to the murid) 
only as worship but regarded the teaching and instructing about both 


the Shariah (the exoteric revelation) and the tariqa (the mystical) 
method or system), the exterior and the interior, to be their real ideal- 
In every hospice, like the seekers of tasawwuf (Islamic mysticism) and 
exoteric sciences, a large group of the students of exoteric sciences was. 
also found. A major portion of state grants or private endowments 
meant for the hospices was spent on students. Hence the old hospices 
too should be reckoned amongst schools and colleges. 

"Along with the mausoleums built over the graves of Sultans and 
saints were also constructed around them many cloisters and rooms for 
the same purpose— to be used as madrasahs- Accordingly, the structural 
design of the tombs of kings like Ala al-Din Khilji, Humayun and others 
that are still extant in Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Bijapur, etc., itself is 
revealing their history"- 1 

Apart from the patronage of state-governments during the Muslim 
rule in india, the Muslim's own zest for knowledge which they had in- 
herited from their forefathers has been very little under the obligation 
of state treasuries. Our old educational institutions did not stand in 
need of independent buildings ! the function of teaching and learning 
used to be carried on in mosques and hospices, houses and palaces of 
scholars and nobles, and even in open fields. Usually, renowned ulema 
used to teach at their own homes and in mosques. The insistence of the 
Holy Prophet's (Allah's peace and" blessings be on him!) instruction that 
"it is a duty of every Muslim male and every Muslim female to acquire 
knowledge" had created a universal taste for the acquisition of know- 
ledge. The dissemination of knowledge, teaching and learning, help and 
support to students, the provinding of books and other educational requi- 
rements, the founding of madrasahs and the endowing of properties for 
their expenses, and monetary aid and support to the teachers and the 
taught; all these acts were considered the cause of good and blessings 
(baraka) and prosperity in both the worlds. These things, like other nece- 
ssities of life, had become an essential and integral part of their lives- 
Teaching has been an indispensable part of the lives of our scholars, 
whether they may be gracing ministerial chairs or the masnads of judges 
and jurisconsults, or any other governmental posts; these occupations 
have never let them neglect their duty (of imparting knowledge)- 

Since this purpose in those times was served easily by mosques, 
such buildings were mostly constructed in the old mosques necessarily 
that they might be used for teaching and accommodating the students. 

1. Hindustan ki Qadeem Islami Darsgahen, pp. 10-12. 


In this regard the Prophet's Mosque (at Mctdina) served as a good model 
for the Muslims. Jama-e Azhar in Egypt and Jama-e Qazvin and Jama-e 
Zaitunia in Morocco are mosques of this very type and are being used 
to this day as teaching institutions. As stated in the foregone, in India 
itself there are extant in cities and towns targe number of such mosques 
in the courtyards of which, on three sides, one can see a vast line of 
large and small rooms and courtyards. The Fatehpuri Mosque in Delhi 
is a relic of the same style; Its rooms and courtyards are still being used 
for teaching and lodging the students. A few examples omongst hundreds 
and thousands of such mosques are the Wazir Khan Mosque at Lahore and 
the Atala Mosque at Jaunpur; these mosques were, in their time, great 
teaching institutions as well 1 . The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, itself was, 
in the first place, established in a mosque where it passed the first ten 
years of its life. 

As regards the general practice of the students' lodging and board- 
ing prevalent in that period, Maulana Ghulam Ali Azad Bilgirami has 
written in his Ma'athir al-Karam :— 

"Men of means in every habitation are considerate towards the stu- 
dents and consider it a great good fortune to help them". 2 

The period of the 12th cen?ury h i j ri in India is thai tumultuous time 
in which along with the Islamic powet and grandeur the Muslims' edu- 
cational activities too had begun to cool down- In those days the Mughal 
king occupying the throne at Delhi was Muhammad Shah (11 31 /1 71 fi- 
ll 61 '1748), who, due to his bohemianism and carousing, has earned the 
nickname of "Rangila Badshah" ("Merry Monarch")- Nevertheless Haz- 
rat Shah Wali Allah Dehelvi's madraGah whose academic benefits have 
reached' every nook and corner in the sub-continent is indebted to the 
patronage, generosity and obligation of the sfime merry monarch. The 
statement of the author of "Waqe' ate Dar al-Hukumal-e Delhi" is that once 
this madrasah was very splendid and beautiful and was considered a great 
seminary." 3 

In the time of Shah Wali Allah's father. Shah Abd al-Raheem (d- 
1131 '1718'!, this madrasah was situated at that place where now are 
situated the graves of these great divines, and is known as "Mihndiyun". 

In Europe too the great educational centres generally have had their origin in 
religious and spiritual centres, churches and monasteries: the Cambridge and 
Oxford Universities of England developed in churches and monasteries only. 

Ma'a'.hir a!-Karam, p. 223, Pub.: Mufid-e Aam Press. Agra, 1228/1910. 

Waqe'at-e Dar al-Hukumat-e Delhi, vol. ii, p. 173. 


When during Shah Wali Allah's time this place became congested due to 
the swelling number of students, Muhammad Shah granted a large man- 
sion for the madrasah. This mansion was situated then in Kucha-e 
Chelan. The author of Waqu'at-e Dar al-Hukusnat-s Delhi has stated 
that "the madrasah was destroyed in the violent disturbances of the mu- 
tiny; now houses of different people have been built at the site but it is 
still called "mohalla (quarter) of Shah Abd al-Aziz's madrasah". 

After Shah Alam Bahadur Shah I's (1 1 1 8,/1706-T 124/1714) demise 
in the last phase of the first quarter of the 12th century hijri, while the 
Mughal sultanate began to decline, the springs of knowledge in India 
also began to dry up from the same time. The religious sciences parti- 
cularly had come to a very critical stage the estimate of which can be 
made somewhat from the syllabi of that era which will be mentioned 
shortly. Accordingly, instead of Tafsir, Hadith and Fiqh in our madrasahs, 
the rational sciences had taken the place of pride and were considered 
the true criterion of one's scholarship. The commentaries and scholia of 
Sadra, Shcsrns-e Raz'ghe and Sharh-e Maral-e had become the standard 
of knowledge, as though the Muslims' syllabi in those days consisted of 
nothing but these sciences. Even if there was talk of the religious 
sciences, it was limited to a few books of Fiqh only; Tafsir and Hadith 
had almost gone out of vogue. Maulana Sayyid Manazir Ahsan Gilani, 
with reference to MaSfuzaf-e Azizi, has stated as under :— 

"Mir Zahid who is considered a pre-eminent savant in the Arabic schools 

on account of his Zctwa'id-e Thalatha (a classical work of rational inter- 
pretation of religion) and was Shah Abd al-Raheem Dehelvi's teacher 

in logic and philosophy, was discharging a great religious service in 
Alamgir's army; that is, he had been appointed to perform the duty of 
a censor — a post which is directly connected with the Islamic jurisprudence 
and the details of the jurisprudential propositions (mcisoil), and unless 
a man is well-conversant with jurisprudence and its particulars, it is 
difficult for him to discharge this function efficiently. Mir Zahid, how- 
ever, had had no confidence in himself as regards Fiqh. Shah Abd al- 
Aziz reports that 

"a nobleman used to study Sharh-e Waqaya (a standard work on 
Fiqh) under the instruction of Mir Zahid but as long as my august 
grandfather did not come there, Mir Zahid would not start the lessons". 1 
In short, logic and philosophy were dominating the Arabic madrasahs 
of this period and all the time of the students used to be spent in the ac- 
quisition of these sciences. 

1. Mat?uzat-e Azizi, p. '82, as quoted in AI-Furquan's Shah Wall Allah No., p, 171. 
and Kamalat-e Aziz, p. 114, Pub. Hashimi. Meerut. A.D. 1897. 



Such were the conditions and so much remoteness from the religious 
sciences had been created when there arose from the historic land of 
Delhi a seeker of the prophetic sciences. He was Hazrat Shah Wali 
Allah Dehelvi, who was engaged in teaching and learning for twelve 
years in Madrasah-e Raheemiyyah, established by his father, Shah Abd 
ai-Raheem. Abruptly he left for Hejaz in 1143/1730 and staying there 
at Madina for nearly two years he acquired the science of Hadith from 
Shaikh Abu Tahir Madani. As regards Shah Sahib's uncommon geist and 
genius, this statement of his teacher, Shaikh Abu Tahir Madani (d. 1145 
1732), is very significant :— 

"Wali Allah gets the wordings of Hadith authenticated by me while 
I get the meanings of Hadith corrected by him". 1 

In 1145/1732, Hazrat Shah Sahib returned from Hejaz and, having 
dug a canal of the Science of Hadith from the illuminated Madina broughr 
it to flow anew on the Indian soil. It is the same canal, started by 
Hazrat Shah Wali Allah, that, after Hazrat Shah Abd al-Ghani's migration 
from India (to Hejaz), Deoband saved not only from being dried up but 
also started it from here with full flow, surging forward, lustily. In the 
past one hundred years its religious benefit has not remained confined to 
the sub-continent only, rather the compariots of the pre-eminent imam 
of the science of Hadith, Imam Bukhari, have also quenched their thirst 
from this canal. On the other hand, those benefitting from this canal, 
viz., Hazrat Khalil Ahmed Anbathvi and Hazrat Maulana Husain Ahmed 
Madani, occupying the masnad of teaching in the illuminated Madina, 
have rejoined this canal to its main headspring, in fine, the canal started 
by Hazrat Shah Wali Allah in India has now developed into a raging sea 
and its arms having spread all over the continent of Asia during the last 
one century are quenching the thirst of the seekers of the prophetic 

It is an undeniable fact that, as far as the education of religious 
sciences is concerned, Hazrat Shah Wali Allah commands a great central 
position and unparalleled greatness. He, in his time, was a discerning 
polymath in religious sciences, a great thinker and a sincere preacher of 
Islam. Giving the status of an independent system (lit, art) to the 
realities and branches of knowledge of the Islamic sciences, he provided 

1 . Ibid. 


a great bulk of material for the security and defence of Islam in India. 
The splendid efforts made by him in the fields of education and politics 
in India constitute a golden and brilliant chapter in our history in this 

During the period of decline of the Mughal empire, the struggle 
between rival powers and their incessant attacks had destroyed the 
internal administration of the country; things were all in a tumble- This 
is no occasion to dilate en Shah Sahib's tremendous exploit in this context, 
for here I wish to describe only those efforts of his which he put in for 
the survival and protection of the religious sciences- The political decline 
of the Mughals had created, along with spiritual and moral degenera- 
tion in the Muslims, educational, intellectual and mental inferiority also 
Philosophically surveying the conditions with a sagacious discernment 
and deep insight, he warned the Muslims (about the gravity of the situ- 
ation and its consequences)- His vigorous efforts caused the rivers of 
grace to flow and thereby assuage he thirst of a large number of people 
for the science of Hadith. Whatv .<er interest in religious sciences, reli- 
gious awakening and obstaining from schismatic and polytheistic 
practices that are witnessed in the sub-continent today are 
all the after-effects of the reviving achievements of Shah Sahib only- 
Allah Most High bestowed great blessings (bamko) on his efforts. 
Accordingly, by the ardent efforts of his descendents and disciples this 
sub-continent became such a Dar al-Hadith ("Home of Haditb" , l a parallel 
of which can be hardly found in other Islamic countries of that period 

Shah Sahib has written a short autobiographical treatise, entitled 
Al-Juz ctl-Latif fi Tarjumctt al-Abd ctl-Za'eef from which an estimate of his 
achievements as a renovator can be made ta some extent. He has stated:— 

"I was born at the time of sunrise on Wednesday, the 4th Shawwal, 
A.H. 1114, and was chronogrammatically named Arim al-Din. 1 Before 
my birth my parent and several pious men had seen dreams harbinqerina 
the happy news which some friends have collected in a treatise, entitled 
Al-Qctwl cil-Ja!i, At thi age of five years 1 was sent to school (moittab). 
When I was seven, my august father made me say prayers and observe 
fasts- The some year I was circumcised and in the same seventh year 
I, having completed the reading of the holy Quran, began studying Per- 
sian unlil, in my tenth year, I had fnished Shaih-e Mulla Jami and had 
acquired the ability to read books independently. At the age of 14 I 
was married and when I was 15, I vowed allegiance (bai'ah) to my august 

1. The numerical value of this names comes to 1115. 

father and engaged myself in the spiritual "occupations" (ashghal) of 
great Sufi saints, particularly those belonging to the Naqshbandiyya 
order- in the same year, having studied a portion of the Baizavi, 1, as 
it were, completed the syllabus current in this land. On this occasion 
my august father threw a feast on a grand scale, inviting the high and 
the low, and permitted me to do teaching work. From the course 
of arts and sciences current in this country, I read the following 
books lesson by lesson. In Hadith I read the Mishkat (except some por- 
tion from Kitab al-Buyu'— the Book of Sale & Purchase— to the Kitab al- 
Adaab— the Book of Manners); the Bukhari upto the Kitab al-Tahara— 
the Book of Lustration; Shamci'il-e Tirmizi complete; and a portion each 
of Tofsir-e Baizavi and Tafsir-e Mudarik- One of the very great bounties 
of Allah Most High bestowed on me was that, along with perfect deli- 
beration and reflection and the study of different commentaries of the 
holy Quran, I received the grace to attend the lectures of my august 
father on the holy Quran, and thus I read the text of the holy Quran 
many times over under the instruction of my father, and practice 
proved to be the cause of the great success for me. Praise be to Allah 
for the same! 

"In the science of jurisprudence t studied Sharh-e Waqaya and 
Hsriaya; in principles of jurisprudence, Husami and a sufficient portion 
of Talweeh Tawzeah; in logic, Sharh-e Shamsiah complete; in scholastic 
theology, Sharh-e Aqa'icl with Hashia-e Khiyali and a portion of Sharh-e 
Mawaqif; in the science of the mystic path and tasawwuf, 'Awarif and 
Rasa'il-e Naqshbandiyya, etc.; in the science of realities, Sharh-e 
Rubai'yat-e Jami, Lawa'ih, Muqaddama-e Sharh-e Lama'at, and Muqa- 
ddama-e Naqd al-Nasus; in the art of the properties of the Divine Names 
and Quranic verses, my august father's special collection; in the medical 
science, Mu'ajjaz; in philosophy, Sharh-e Ha day at al-Hikma, etc-; in 
syntax, Kafiah and Sharh-e Jami, in rhetorics, Mutawwal and that por- 
tion of Mukhtasar al-Ma'ani on which Mullah-zadeh has written a scho- 
lium; and in astronomy and mathematics, some brief treatises. Praise 
be to Allah that during this period of study I developed a special affi- 
nity to each subject and its main problems and important discussions 
came within the grasp of my intellect. 

"When I was 17 years old, my august father went to glory. In 
his fatal sickness he gave me permission to receive allegiance and give 
guidance. After his death I kept myself engaged in teaching religious 
books and the rational sciences and got the opportunity to think over 
each art and science. 


"In 1143/1730 my humble self was blessed with ihe performance of 
the hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) and in 1144/1731, with the felicity of 
constant attendance (mujawarat) at the holy sanctuaries at Mecca and 
Madina, and of acquiring knowledge of Hadith from Shaikh Abu Tahir 
and other Shaikhs of the !wo holy cities- During my stay at Madina the 
sacred shrine (of the Holy Prophet) continued to be the main centre of 
my attention. Praise be to Allah that an endless wealth of graces and 
blessings was showered from this holy durbar on this fakir. Moreover, 
in this auspicious journey, I got the opportunity of coming into contact 
and enjoying the conversazioni of many of the ulema of the two sacred 
cities and of the Islamic world. Shaikh Abu Tahir awarded me a colle- 
ctive khirqa, the symbol of my initiation into all the Sufi orders- In late 
1144/1731, I again hod the honour of performing the hajj, and then in 
early 1 145/1732, I undertook the return journey and reached my native- 
place exactly on Friday, 14th Rajab, A. H. 1145. 

"The greatest reward of Allah Most High on this bondman of His 
is that he has been invested with the Inaugural Robe of Honour (Khctl 
'at-e Fatihiya) and this last epoch (of religious revival) has been inau- 
gurated through him. The works I have been made to perform in this 
connection are that the things that are 'muradda' (desirable, agreeable) 
in Fiqh have been brought together in it, and laying the foundation of 
Fiqh and Hadith anew, the entire edifice of this art has been rebuilt and 
the secrets and expediencies of all the commandments, persuasions and 
teaching have been so codified as none had done it like this before me. 

"Another service exacted from me was that 1 proved in Fiqh the 
verity of the beliefs of the Ahl-e Sunnah with arguments and proofs and 
cleansed them thoroughly of all the rubbish of the rationalists' doubts 
and suspicicns heaped on them; and, thank Allah. I have explained 
them in such a way that it leaves no scope for any more debate and con- 

"Practical wisdom too has been given to me abundantly and I also 
received the grace to conform and amplify it in accordance with the 
Book, the Sunnah and the examples of the Companions- Over and above 
these qualities, I have been gifted with the expertise whereby I can dis- 
tinguish between what the original teachings of religion brought in fact 
by the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be on him!) are and 
what are those things that are accretions or later additions as the re- 
sult of interpolation of certain schismatic sects". 1 

1. Risala al-Juz al-Latjf, pp. 26-23, Pub. Ahmedi Press. 


To know the details and reality of the special works hinted at in the 
above-quoted lines by Shah Sahib, it is necessary to refer to his books. 

Qualified with these accomplishments and peculiarities, when Shah 
Sohib stepped into the field of reviving religion, there is no doubt about 
it that he did a splendid work The milieu in which Shah Sahib had 
seen the light was a very dismal period of moral and spiritual degenera- 
tion. Innovations and polytheistic deeds were in vogue in every house; 
the nobles and the affluent, over head and ears in luxury and enjoy- 
ment,, had become apathetic to religion. Shah, Sahib, surveying the 
conditions round about him, started his work of renovation; he resolved 
to disseminate and propagate the science of Hadith and played a mat- 
chless academic and intellectual role. He started teaching the Quran 
and Hadith in Madrasah-e Raheemiyyah, and, in this connection, he tran- 
slated the holy Quran into Persian, the main language of the Muslims then, 
so as to make its benefit common At the same time, writing Hujjat 
Allahil Baligha and other valuable books on conventionalism (taqlid) 
and casuistry (ijtehac!), he tried to bring it home that the capacity for 
thinking and understanding on the Islamic lines be created. After him 
he left such successors who, in protecting the Islamic arts and sciences 
and their dissemination, discharged the dues of successorship. Nawab 
Siddiq Hasan Khan has written about this family :— 

"Each one of them, in knowledge, practice, intellect, perception; ora- 
torical power, eloquence in writing, piety, honesty, integrity and ranks 
of sainthood, is unrivalled, unique i.n the world and the phoenix of 
his age; and similarly, the descendents of the descendents of this house 
are all suns. This chain is of pure gold"- 1 

Ittehaf al-Nabula ai-Muttagin ba-ahya-e Ma'athir al-Fuqaha wal-Muhddilhin, 

p. 430, Pub. Nizami Press, Kanpur, A.H. 1283. 




In connection with the great ones of the Dar al-Ulum the personality 

who tops the list is the same Shah Waii Allah Dehelvi, Almost ali the 
systems of the religious sciences in general and of the science of Hodith 
in particular that are current and extant in the sub-continent have origi- 
nated from him- Whatever zest for theological sciences that exists from 

Peshawar to Ras Kumari is due to the grace cf this household, it is the 
statement of a non-indian reiigious divine that during his tour of India 
he did not meet any scholar of the science of Hadith who was not a 
disciple of Hazrat Shah Waii Allah through the medium of Hazrat Shah 
Abd al-Aziz- 1 

Shah Sahib's family, by virtue of its knowledge and learning, absti- 
nence and piety, was considered very distinguished in Delhi. His father, 
Shah Abd al-Raheem was one of the compilers of the Fcttawa Alamgiri. 
As already stated in the foregone, he acquired knowledge from his father- 
At the age of 15 he had competed the course of ihe current sciences. Shah 
Sahib's chain of authority, through his august father, reaches back to 
Aflamah Jalal al-Din M'jhaqqiq Dawwani (d. 928/1521). In those days 
the element of rationalistic sciences was dominant in the syllabi in India. 
Hence to complete the study of the science of Hadith and to obtain the 
sanad of authority Shah Sahib undertook a journey to the holy cities 
(Mecca and Madina), and there he acquired the sanad for the correct re- 
citation of the Sihari and narration of hadith from Shaikh Abu Tahir 
Madani and other illustrious Shaikhs. As regards Shah Sahib's inherent 
geist and capability, his teacher of Hadith, Shaikh Abu Tahir Madam's 
statement hes been quoted supra that "Waii Allah obtains the sanad for the 
wordings of narration from me while I correct (my understanding of) the 
meanings of hadiths through him". 

It was that period when the science of Hadith was passing through 
the last stage of enervation and deterioration- To propagate a.nd to make 
current the science of Hadith in such a predicament is indeed a stupendous 
achievement of Shah Sahib which, a glorious divine of Egypt. Sayyid 
Rasheed Reza, had to acknowledge in the following words: — 

"If the attention of our Indian divines had not been lavished on the 
science of Hadith in that period, then this science would have faded 

1. Shah Waii Allah K. Siyasi Tehrik. p. 82 by Ubayd Allah Sindhi, 


out of existence from the eastern countries, because from the 10th to 
the beginning of the 14th century hijri, this science had reached the 

last siage of decay in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Hejaz." 1 

Then, describing ihe condition of Egypt, he has stated :— 


"When I migrated to Egypt in 1315/1897, I saw the khatibs of Jama- 
Azhar and other mosques that they recite in their khutbas (sermons) 
su-h hadrlhs which are nowhere to be found in the tomes of Hadith. 
Among those hadiths (which they recite) ihe.e are 'weak', 'disavowed' 
(munkar), fabricated and counter-feit hadiths also. The same was the 
condition of the preachers, muftis and teachers". 2 

Shah Sahib's educational services are not confined to teaching only; 
he rather wrote such glorious books in different sciences the examples 
whereof are rarely found after the 8th century hijri. Besides this, of 
Shah Sahib's academic life there are many more momentous achieve- 
ments; to mention them here even briefly is not easy, for it is a separate 
Shah Sahib had four sons each one of whom was a bright star in 
the firmament of knowledge. The eldest amongst them was Shah Abd al- 


Hazrat Shah Abd al-Aziz (1159/1746-1239/1823) was the most 
erudite and glorious divine of his time- The dissemination of the sciences 
of the Quran and the Hadith that took place in his time— of course, thro- 
ugh him— has had no precedent in the annals of Islamic India. There is 
no nook and corner in India where Shah Abd al-Azi,- disciples may not 
be found. The statement of a non-Indian scholar )as already been 
quoted above that during his travels in India he did not meet any scholar 
of Hadith who was not a disciple of Shah Sahib- Maulana Ubayd Allah 
Sindhi is of the view that if ten persons benefitted from the great quali- 
ties of Shah Wali Allah, from Shah Abd al-Aziz's qualities must have 
benefitted at least ten thousand persons 5 ' 

In short, the foundation Hazrat Shah Wali Allah had laid for the re- 
naissance of the religious sciences was brought to consummation by Haz- 

"I. Muqaddama-e Miftah-e Kanuz al-Sunnah. p. 4: Egypt. 

2. Muqaddama-e Miftah-e Kanuz al-Sunnah, p. 4 ; Egypt, 

3. Shah Wali Ki SiyasT Tehrik. p. 64. 


rat Shah Abd al-Aziz. He established such a standard of knowledge 
whereby the religious sciences came 10 atiain a special honour and dignity. 
Shah Abd al-Aziz, after the death ot his augusT Tamer, served the cause 
of the religious sciences in Delhi for a long period of sixty years. 
Besides teaching, he wrote several books amongst which his Tafsir-e Fath 
al-Aziz, a commentary on the Quran, Bustart al-Muhaddithin, on the 
history of the classes of traditionists and their compilations, and the 
Tuhfa-e Ithna 'Ashriya on the reality of Shiaisrn ■. are really very 
famous. The last-named book is such an opus magnum of Shah Sahib 
that there exists no example thereof on this topic in the entire Islamic 


Hazrat Shah Muhammad Ishaq was Hazrat Shah Abd al-Aziz's 
grandson (daughter's son) and a distinguished pupil. In the presence of 
Shah Abd al-Aziz he taught Hadith to the students for twenty years. In 
1239/1823, Shah Abd al- Aziz, entrusting Madrasah-e Raheemiyyah 
before his death to Shah Muhammad Ishaq, appointed him as his succe- 
ssor. Till 1257/1841 he rendered the service of disseminating and propaga- 
ting the science of Hadith. Almost the whole of India benefitted from 
his educational graces. He translated the Mishkat al-Masabesh into 
Urdu, which, at his instance, was transformed into a commentary by his 
well-guided pupil, Maulana Qutub a!-Din Khan, and is known as Maza- 
hir-e Haq. Mi'at Masa'il and Rasa'il-e Arba'een are also his noteworthy 
works. Emigrating from India in 1257/1841 to Mecca, he settled down 
there and died after a few years. 

It is stated in Tarjuma-e Tazkira-e Ulama-e Hind : "It is particularly 

notable lhat during the freedom fight of 1857 most of the pupils of 
Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehelvi took part as ulema in This movement, 
the mcsr noteworlhy amongst them being Mufti 'Inayat Ahmed Kakorvi 
(Sadar Amin, Barsilly), Maulana Abd al-Jalil Ko'ili (Aligarhi), Mufti Sadar 
al-Din Azurda, Shah Abu Sa'eed Mujaddidi (father of Shah Abd al-Ghani 
Mujaddidi) and the pupils of their pupils, i.e., the ulema of Deoband, e.g., 
Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi, 
Maulana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautavi, Maulana Muhammad Munir 
Nanautavi etc. 1 


After Hazrat Shah Muhammad Ishaq's emigration the honour of his 
1. Tarjuma-e TazkTra Ulama-e Hind, p. 409, Karachi. 


successorship fell to the lot of Hazrat Shah Abd al-Ghani Mujaddidi 
(1235/ 1819— 1296/1878), Shoh Abd al-Ghani studied some books of 
Hadith under his father, Shah Abu Sa'eed, who was a pupil of Shah 
Abd al-Aziz, and obtained the sanad of some books from Shah Muha- 
mmad Ishaq. He, during his iime, despite his young age, was an incom- 
parable scholar of Hadith. Scholars and students used to come to him 
from every corner of the country and used to take pride in gleaning from 
"this harvest of accomplishment". His school was the greatest centre 
of the science of Hadith in India. He wrote a scholium on Ibn Maja 
which is known as Injah al-Haja. Through his educational grace were 
produced peerless ulema like Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nana- 
utavi, Hazrat Maulana Rcsheed Ahmed Gangohi and Hazrat Maulana 
Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi, who infused a new life into the world of 

In the upheaval of 1857 this greatest institution of the science of 
Hadith was ravaged by the accidents of time and came to an end for 
good. Shah Abd al-Ghani emigrated to Madina and there he passed 
away in the month of Muharram, A.H. 1296. 

The details of the sanad of narration of the above-mentioned scho- 
fcrs are given fully in Al-Yan'e al-Jani. 

Regarding Hazrat Shah Abd al-Ghani, Maulana Hakim Abd al-Hayy 
Lakhnavi writes in his Nuzhct al-Khwatir as under :— 

"Knowledge and practice, asceticism, forbearance, truthfulness, trust- 
worthiness, chastity, self-preservation, bcna fides, sincerity, resorting to 
Allah, fear oi Allah, conformance to the prophetic sunnah, excellent 
mcra's, spirituo, communion (muragaba), benevolence to the people and 
disinclination to worldly assets; — of such qualities he was exclusively the 
last paragon. Many ulema and Shaikhs benefitted from the blessings of 
his majlis and his teachings. All the people of India and Arabia are un- 
animous as regards his greatness and saintliness. On Wednesday, the 
6th of Muharram, A.H. 1296, he died at and was laid to rest 
there". 1 

Another line of the ulema of Deoband, through their pupillage to 
Hazrat Maulana Mamluk Ali Nanautavi and Maulana Rasheed 
al-Din Khan Dehelvi, reaches back to Shah Abd a!-Aziz. The details 
thereof are as under :— 

1, Nuzhat al-Khwatir, vol. vii, pp. 289-90. 




The teacher of teachers, Hazrat Maulana Mamluk Ali Nanautavi was 
one of the famed ulema of his lime, commanding a distinctive position 
among his contemporary divines. On text-books, particularly those of 
Fiqh, he had such mastery that he remembered most of the books by 
heart. The condition of his memory was such that the late Sir Sayyid 
(Ahmed Khan) writes : "He has had complete proficiency in the rational 
and ths traditional sciences and he can recall the text-books so thoroughly 
that, suppose, if the treasury of knowledge is emptied of all these books, 
it is possible to reproduce them from she tablet of his memory. Over ond 
above this perfection and merit, his politeness and forbearance are 
beyond words". 1 

He was one of the well-guided pupils of Maulana Rasheed al-Din 
Khan. The circle of his educational beneficence (i.e., the circle of stu- 
dents and disciples) was very extensive. His inspiring art of teaching 

ptoduced innumerable scholars. Maulana Ashiq llahi Meeruthi has stated : 

"Maulana Mamluk Ali, who had studied most of the text-books under 
the instruction of "the Moon of India" Hazrat Maulana Rasheed al-Din 
Khan, a disciple of Hazrat Shah Abd al-Aziz, was himself the teacher 
of such holy and famous personages and "the Suns of the Sky of Know- 
ledge" as Hazrat Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi, Hazrat Maulana 
Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, Maulana Muhammad Mazhar, Dean 
of Mazahir-e Ulum, and Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi, 
Dean of the Dar al-Ulum. All these gentlemen had quenched the 
thirst for religious sciences and the literary arts from this surging ocean, 
and driven from pillar to post they had at last found cure and satis- 
faction at this very threshold". 2 

Maulavi Karim al-Din Panipati writes : — 

"The new Arabic madrasah is stable due to him. He hos had perfect 

mastery over all the three languages : Persian, Urdu and Arabic; and 
is fullyi proficient in all the arts and sciences found in these languages 
When a book of any subject is translated from English into Urdu, his 
keen mind grasps its fundamental principle so quickly as if he was 

1. Athar al-Sanadid, pt. iv p. 70. 

2. Tazkirat al-Khalil, p. 9. 


conversant with this subject from the very beginning. 1 In the work he 
has been appointed for, he has, as far as possible, never shown any 
default. So much benefit has been caused in the madrasah by his 
benefkient being that perhaps it might not have accrued from any 
teacher in any time", 2 

This teacher of the teachers was the resort of students who, flocking 
to him from all over, used to derive academic benefit. Besides the college 
hours, there used to be a throng of students at his residence during his 

leisure-time. Mauiavi Karim al-Din writes:— 

"His house is the resort of students, his college the assemblage of ulema 
and scholars; hundreds of students, deriving benefit from his blessed 
being went as scholars to different parts of India. Besides teaching 
the college-students, he teaches books of every subject to other people 
at his residence. All his precious time till the dead of night, is divided 
over the teaching of students. Hundreds of students flock to him from 
far and near for being educated in different sciences and it is far from 
his affiability that he might disappoint any student". 3 ' 

Hazrat Gangohi's statement has been reported in Tazkiirat al-Rasfieed 
as follows :— 

"In the beginning we used to study under other teachers but we did not 
feel satisfied. Sometimes the lesson used to be short and sometimes we 
would not receive a reply to the searchings of our hearts. But when 
we reached the presence of Maulana Mamluk Ali, we gof satisfied and 
finished the books within a short time, as if he had poured them into 
our throats in the form of a mixture. There were several good teachers 

1. It is stated in Arwah-e Salasa that "when Maulana Mamluk A'i Nanautavi went 
to Delhi to p* tsecute studies, it so happened that under whichever teacher 
he started reading, the latter, sensing want of aptitude in him (the stu- 
dent), would not teach him another lesson after the first. This situation kept 
him very sad and gloomy. Worrying about his inaptitude, he, one day wen! 
to the presence of Hazrat Shah Abd al- Aziz and said : 'Leaving my native- 
place I have come here with the eagerness to acquire knowledge but the 
state of things is such that under whichever teacher I begin to read, he does 
not wish to teach me any more after the first lesson'. 'Well, come tommorow', 
said Shah Sahib. Next day the Maulana called upon him and Shah Sahib 
taught him one lesson from Hedayat al-Nahv and said : 'Go; now under 
whichever teacher you study, he will not refuse to teach'. 

Accordingly, he developed such aptitude and made such progress that very 
great ulema later on became his pupils". (Anecdote No, 185) 

2. Tazkira-e Tabaqat al-Shu'ara, p. 463. 

3. Tazkira-e Faraid al-Dahr by M. Karim al- Din, p. 402. 


in Delhi in those days but such teachers who might have complete 
grasp of the meaning and instil it into the student's mind by lecturing 
on it in different ways, were only two: one was our teacher Maulana 
Mamluk Ali and the other, also our teacher, Mufti Sadar al-Din Azurda. 
(Allah's mercy be on them !)". 

As regards Hazrat Maulana Mamluk Ali's academic insight and 
perception, Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi has written that 

"before him it was difficult to make progress without grasping the 

meaning (of a lesson) because he used to make out from the diction 
whether this fellow (student) has grasped the meaning or not". 1 

To compute the number of the pupils of Hazrat Ustaz al-asatiza 
(the teacher of teachers) is very difficult. Amongst his pupils the names 

of great uiema like Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, Maulana 
Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi, Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi, Mau- 
lana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautavi, Maulana Ahmed Ali Saharanpuri, 
Maulana Shaikh Muhammad Thanvi, Maulana Zulfiqar Ali Deobandi, 
Maulana Fazi al-Rahman Deobandi, Maulana Muhammad Munir Nan- 
autavi, Maulavi Jamal al-Din Madar ai-Muhcm of Bhopal (chief-minister 
of the erstwhile Bhopal state), Maulavi Karim al-Din Panipati, compiler of 
the Tazkira-e Tctbaqat al-Shu'ara, Shams al-Ulama Dr. Zia al-Din, L.L.D., 
Maulana Alim Ali Moradabadi, Maulavi Sam'ee Allah Dehelvi, Maulana 
Abd al Rahman Panipati, etc., are especially noteworthy. 

It is stated in Sawanh-e Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautavi that 

Hazrat Maulana Mamluk Ali had translated the first four and the eleventh 
and twelfth discourses of Euclid from Arabic. Besides this, he is also 
reported to have translated the Tirmizi and Tarikh-e Yamini. 

He was professor of. Arabic sciences in the Delhi College. He died 
on 11th Zil-hijja 1267/1851, and lies buried in Shah Wali Allah's grave 
yard, 'Mihndiyun', in front of the mosque. His grave is now untraceable. 


He was Hazrat Shah Rafi' al-Din's disciple. In the rational and the 
traditional sciences, particularly in scholastic theology, he was a match- 
less scholar of his time. Shah Sahib had taught and trained him as his 
own son, always, thinking of and trying to reform and improve him. After 
Shah Rafi. al-Din, Shah Abd al-Aziz and Shah Abd al-Qadir taught and 
trained him. 

1. Sawanh-e Qasimi, p. 7, Pub : Mujtabai, Delhi, 1311/1894. 


Though Moulcma Rasheed al-Din Khan had had perfect proficiency in 
ail soils of subjecis, he had acquired spsacu expr.,.,se in as.ionomy ana 
mathematics, and in those days hardly any man would dare to compete 
with him in these subjects. He had a prodigious knack in eristic and was 
an unrivalled litlsrateur in ine Aiabic language. 

Besides his knowledge and learning, Mauiana Rasheed al-Din's asce- 
ticism (zuhu) and piety (taqwci) were also acknowledged. He used to live 
a contented life. Once the post of a judge was offered to him but he 
declined to accept it, In 1825 when the famous Madrasa-e Ghazi al- 
Din of Delhi was changed into a college, he was appointed as the head- 
teacher of Arabic in it. He used to get a salary of Rs. 10'0/- p.m. but, 
being magnanimous by nature, he would help, as far as he could, any 
needy man who approached him. He died in 1249/1833 at nearly 
seventy years of age. 


He was Shah Abd al-Aziz's younger brother and an illustrious divine 
of the Wali Allahian family. He was born in 1163/1749. When Shah 
Abd ai-Aziz was no more able to teach due to several ailments and loss 
of sight, he appointed Shah Rafi' al-Din in his place. Scholars and students 
used to flock to Delhi from far off places to derive benefit from Shah Sahib. 
He was a versatile genius, having mastery over every subject and this 
peculiarity of his was famous that to the teaching of whichever subject he 
turned his attenlion, it seemed as if that very subjetc was his speciality. 
As regards his command ever mathematics. Shah Abd al-Aziz used to 
remark that 

"Maulavi Rafi' al-Din has advanced so much in mathematics that per- 
haps its inventor too must not have advanced so much". 2 

At another place he says :— 

"There must be no match to Maulavi Rafi' al-Din in India and abroad 
in the subject of mathematics". 5 ' 

Amongst his works the Urdu translation of the holy Quran, Muqa- 
ddamat al-llm, Takmil al-Azhan, Asrar a!-Muhabbat, and Qiyamat Nama 

1. Athas al-Sanadid, pt. iv, p. 51. 

2. Ma!fuzat-e Shah Abd al-Aziz, p. 40 & Kama!at-e Azrzi, p. 56. 


are very famous He died in 1233/1817 and lies in eternal rest in his 
family graveyard. 

The late Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan writes :— 

"All the reputed scholars of India are the beneficiaries of his (Shah Rafi' 
al-Din's) grace-gifting person. He had such aptitude with each subject 
that he used to teach diverse subjects and different sciences at one and 
the same time. When he diverted his attention from the teaching of 
one to that of another the audience would feel as if the dress of uni- 
queness in the same subject hod been cut for the body of his talent. 
These accomplishments notwithstanding, his imparting of the esoteric 
grace was such that had Junayd of Baghdad and Hasan of Basra 
lived in his time they would have indubitably considered themselves 
the lowest beneficiaries". 


He is amongst the last gleaners of the Wali Allahian harvest of 
knowledge. He was born in 1248/1832. In the environs of Saharanpur 
there is an old village, Nanauta, 1 repu'ed for producing men of high 
calibre. It was from this productive mine that this unique jewel of the 
first water came out whose scintillating knowledge illumined and made 
resplendent the academic and religious assemblies in tho later half of the 
13th century hijri. Primary education he received at his native-place 
after which he was sent to Deoband where he read for some time in 
Maulavi Mehtab Ali's primary school. Then he went away to his ma- 
ternal grandfather at Saharanpur where the latter was practising as a 
pleader. In Saharanpur he studied the elementary books of Arabic gra- 
mmar and syntax under the instruction of Maulavi Nawaz. At the end 
of 1259/1843, Maulana Mcmluk Ali took him to Delhi. There 
he began the Kafia and read other books. Thereafter he was admitted 
to the Delhi College but he did not take the annual examination, Mau- 
lana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi writes ■■ — 

"My late father got Maulavi Sahib admitted to the Government. 
Arabic Madrasah 2 and said : 'See Eculid yourself and do exercises of ari- 

Nanauta is an old village 16 miles west of Deoband. A distinguished family 
of Siddique Shaikhs has settled here since 9th century hijri. Hazrat Nanau- 
tavi belongs to this family genealogically. 

Delhi College, which Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi calls Madrasah-e 
Arabi Sarkari", was formerly known as Madrasa-e Ghazi at-Din. Ghazi al- 
Din Firozt Jang ! (d. 1122/1710) had established it a few years before his 
death outside Ajmeri Gate. Firoze Jang I. after his death, was buried in the 


thmetic. After some days it was talked about that Maulavi Sahib had 
seen all the ordinary discourses and had completed the exercises of ari- 
thmetic. Munshi Zaka Allah brought some questions which were very 
difficult. On solving them Maulana became very well-known. When the 
annual examination drew near, Maulavi Sahib did not take it and left the 
madrasah. All in the madrasah, particularly the head-master who 
was the principal English teacher, regretted this very much". 1 

Before entering Delhi College, he had read books of logic, philo- 
sophy and scholastic theology like Mir Zahid, Qazi Mubarak, Sadra, 
Shcms-s Bazigha under the instruction of Maulana Mamluk Ali at the 
tatter's house. In the end he joined that study-circle which then posse- 
ssed a central position in the whole of India with regard to the teaching 
of the sciences of the Quran and Hadith . Hazrat Shah Abd al-Ghani 
Mujaddidi was then gracing the masnad of knowledge of Shah Wali Allah. 
From him he acquired the science of Hadith; during his student-days it- 
self the fame of his acuteness, knowledge and learning, comprehension and 
discernment had become widespread. 

Hazrat Maulana Nanautavi's illustrious contemporary, Sir Sayyid, has 
expressed his impressions of the former's acuteness, knowledge and 
(Footnote from the previous page continued) 
courtyard of the same madarasah. His grave is still extant. He was the 

father of Nizam al-Mulk Asaf Jah I. The ruling family of the erstwhile Hydera- 
bad State in the Deccart descended from the same Asaf Jah I. 
The double-storeypd butldinq of red stone of Madrasah Ghazi al-Din, by the 
prevailing standard of that time, was very grand and magnificent. In 1825 
(A.H. 1241) the East India Company changed it into Delhi College. Mr. J. H. 
Taylor was appointed as its first principal In 1828 (A.H. 1244) an English 
class was opened in this colleqe and modern sciences were included in the 
course. Before this it was an Arabic madrasah of the oriental type. 
In 1842 (A.H. 1258) the Delhi College was shifted from the Ajmeri Gate to a 
big building naar Kashmiri Gate, where it continued til! 1857. During the 
violent disturbaces of 1857 the college was destroyed and Mr. Taylor was 
killed. He had been attached to this college for nearly 30 years. In 1890 
(A.H. 1308), it was restarted under the name of Anglo-Arabic College in the 
same old building of Madrasah Ghazi al-Din (old Delhi College). (Extracted 
from "Waqeal-e Dar sl-Hukum»t-e Delhi" vol ii. pp. 562-573; by Bashir al-Din 
Ahmed; pub. by Shamsi Press, 1237/1919. 

Now for some years this college has been renamed Dr. Zakir Husain College. 

(Sayyid Mahboob Rizvi). 
1. Sawanh-e Qasimi, p. 4; pub. by Mujtabai Press, Delhi, 1894 (A.H. 1311), Who 
was this head-master? Maulavi Abd al-Haq writes in his Marhum Delhi College: 
Mr. Taylor worked as head-master in Delhi College for 30 years and was also its 
principal for two. three years' (p. 157). Mr. Taylor was killed in the upheaval 
of 1857. His head-mastership began in 1825 (A.H. 1241). Hazrat Nanautavi 
went to Delhi in 1259/1843 for higher studies. So at that time, the same 
Mr. Taylor could be the head-master. 


learning, asceticism and piety, understanding and discernment during 
student days in the following words :— 

"The people thought that after Maulavi Muhammad Ishaq no man like 
him in alt those qualities was to be born, but Maulavi Muhammad Qasim 
has proved by his consummate righteousness, religiosity, piety, abstinence 
and humilhy that, through the education and training of this city of Delhi, 
Allah has created another man a like of Maulavi Muhammad Ishaq, 
rather superior to him in certain things. 

"There are many people alive who have seen Maulavi Muhammad 
Qasim receiving education at Delhi at a very young age. He had studied 
all the books under the late Maulavi Mamluk Ali. From the very beginn- 
ing the signs of piety, abstinence, virtuousness and devotion to God were 
apparent from his ways and manners and the following couplet was per- 
fectly applicable to him :— 

'Over his head through his intelligence was shining the star of loftiness'. 

"During the period of prosecuting studies, even as he was well-known 
and reputed for his intelligence, keenness of mind, understanding and dis- 
cernment, he was equally well spoken of by men of learning and accom- 
plishments for his virtuousness and devoutness. Maulavi Muzaffar Husain 
Sahib's company had inclined him very much towards conformance to the 
proohetic sunnah, and tfee qrace of the company of Haji lmdad Allah had 
made his heart into a top-ranking heart. He himself conformed to the 
Shari'ah and the sunnah and tried his level best to make people also 
conform to the Shari'ah and the sunnah. Nevertheless. h<? was always 
anxious about the weal of the Muslims. It was through his efforts that 
a very useful madrasah for imparting the education of religious sciences 
was established at Deoband and a very fine mosque was also built. 
Besides this, throuah his effort and endeavour. Islamic madrasahs were 
established at other places too. He did not at all wish to be a mysta- 
qoaue, a soiritunl preceptor, and yet, thousands of oeoole in India, parti- 
cularly In the northern anA western districts, believed in him end considered 
him to be their spiritual leader. 

"As regards controversial questions some people were displeased with 
him and he too was displeased with some, but as far as we understand 
we cannot impute any action of Maulavi Muhammad Qasim, whether it 
be of displeasure with any one or of pleasure, to egoism, obduracy and an- 
tagonism. All the works and deeds that he performed were purelv for 
God's sake and with an eye on the recompense of the hereafter; and he 


used to follow whatever he considered true and right. Both, to be dis- 
pleased or to be pleased wilh any one, were for the sake of God. Mauiovi 
Muhammad Qasim did not consider any man good or bad due to his per- 
sonal relations but because a man does bad works or speaks bad things, 
he consit'er^d him bad for the sake of God. The question of J l?ve for 
the sake of Allah' and 'aversion for the sake of Allah' was peculiar to his 
treatment. All his habits were angelic. We all used to cherish sincere love 
for him, and such a man who may have passed his life with such virtuo- 
usness is indubitably worthy of utmost love, 

"In these days all people admit and perhaps those people too who 
dissented from him in certain open questions might be admitting that 
Mau!avi Muhammad Gasim was a match'ess man in this world. His rcn'< 
in sciental knowledge in those days may perhaps be less thon that of Shah 
Abd al-Aziz to some extent, otherwise in all other things it was superior. 
In humility, virtue and simplicity, if his rank was not higher than that of 
Maulavi Muhammad Ishaq, it was not inferior either. He was realty a man 
of angelic habits and celestiol disposition, and the world's being bereaved 
of the existence of such n man is the cause of extreme sorrow end regret 
for those who survive after him" . ! 

After the completion of his education, Moulano Nanautavi took un 
as a means of livelihood the work of correcting the press at Matba-e 
Ahmedi, 2 Delhi, which was then owned by Maulana Ahmed Ali Muhaddith 
Soharanpuri. 3 In those days, ol Maulana Ahmed Ali's instance, he also 
wrote a scholium on the last few portions of the Sahih Bukhari. 

1. The lale Sir Sayyid'r, article in Aligsrh Instftute Gazalte, dated Aoril 24 1880. 
PD. 467-8 For details, vide this writer's article entitled Hazra' Nanautavi Sir 
Sayvid Ki Nazar Men, included in Sawanh-e Qaslml. vol iii. 

?. Matba-e Ahmedi, Delhi, was a great centre for the Drintinq and publishinn of 
the books of Hadith: a nioneer Dress oublishio books of hadith for the first 
time in India. Acrordinnlv. Jam'e Tirmizi in 1265/1848. Sahih Bukhari in 
1270/1853. and Mishkat af-Masabeeh in 1271 M854. were published with creat 
care. This nress Maulana Ahmed Ali had established in 1262/1845. after his 
return from Heiaz. After the revo't of 1857. it was shifted to Meerut. This 
writer has been the copies of Sahih Bukhari and Mishkat al-Ma^abeeh. printed 
bv this press, in the librarv of the r>ar al-U'um, As renards their marainalia it 
is my opinion that they are from the aer\ of Maulana Ahmed himself: however, 
the text of the hadiths seems to have been written by the copy-writer. 

3. Maulana Ahmed Ali Muhaddith Saharano"ri was born in 1225/1810 in Saha- 
ranpur. He studied under Maulana Mamluk Ali and Maulana Waiih al-Din. 
He acquired the knowledge of Hadith in Mecca from Hazrat Shah Muhammad 
Ishaq Dehelvi in this manner that siUma in the Haram from dawn (Fajr) till 
noon (Zuhr), he would first copy down the hadiths and then, from Zuhr till 
Asr (afternoon), he would watt unon Shah Sahib and listen to the transcribed 
hadiths. All the books of Hadiths he read before Shah Sahib like this only. 


Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi writes :— 

"Mculavi Ahmed Aii Saharanpuri entrusted the lost five or six remain- 
ing portions of the Eukhari Sharif for commentation and collation, ana he 
has written it so weil that now let the readers assess as to what else can 
be better than this. At that time some people who were not aware of 
Maulavi Sahib's talent had told Maulavi Ahmed Aii by way of an objection 
as '.o what if was that he did that he enirusied the work to o novice; end 
Maulana Ahmed Aii had then retorted that he was not that simple that 
he would have done so without consideration and understanding. And 
then Maulana Ahmed A!i showed them the scholium written by Maulavi 
Sahib wherefore the people came to recognise his ability. And that 
porticn in the Bukhsri is the toughest, particularly because of the under- 
taking for the Hancfife method {mazh-rsb) Frcm the vary beginning, end it 
is there that Imrrn Bukhcri has taken exceptions to the Hanafhe method 
and Maulavi Sahib has given the answers there. It is known how diffi- 
cult they are. Now whoever desires, let him see that place an-! realise 
what kind of scholium has been written; and it was also an undertaking 
in this scholium not to write anything without authen'icafion from books 
and from merely one's understanding. 1 

(Footnote from the previous page continued) 

After completing education, he came back to India and engaged in teaching 
Hadith. Simultaneously he also published Jsm'e Ti-~- : zi from his own press 
in 1265/1848. After collating Sahih Bukhari and Mishkat ai-Ma<?aheeh with 
MSS., he got them printed with utmost care in 1270/1853 and 1271/1854 res- 
pectively. Ho also wrote marginalia on these books. The collation, reda- 
ction and commentation of the Sahih Eukhsri took ten years. These were the 
maiden prints of Hadith-boo'-s in India. Maulana Ahmed All soent all his life 
in teaching and printing the books of Hadim. He was a great religious divine and 
an illustrious traditionist of his time. Outstanding contemporary uiema like Mau- 
lana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Aii Mongyri 
and Allahmah Shibli Naumani belooed to the circle of his pupils. Accord- 
ing to Allahmah Shibli, most of the great Hanafite ulema of that era were his 

He earned his livelihood throunh the press and by dealing in books. A'ong 
with the wealth of knowledge. Allah had enrinched him with worldly wealth also, 
which h<= i. ,r -ed to crjenrt lavishly on the ^ocr and the students In "he last 
phase of his life he used to teach Tafsir and Hadith to the students in Mad- 
ra c ?h Ma/ahir-e Lllum. Saharanpur, He was extremely cdrrtplafsarit, self- 
effacing and contentpri. His academic and financial favours went a long way 
in the progress of the said Madrasah from which he never took any remune- 
ration for services rendered. 

He died on 6th Jamadi al Awwal, 1297/1880. in Saharanpur and lies in eternal 
sleep in his ancpstra) oravevard near the 'doah 

For the details of his life, seen this writer's article in Burr-*n (rmnthly). Delhi, 
of November, 1974. {S. M. Ftizvi). 

Sav/anh e Qasimi, p. 9, Pub : Matba-e Mujtabai, Delhi; 1311/1894. 


There is no clarification in any biography of Hazrat Nanautavi as 

to when he completed his education and in which year he happened to 
csllate the Sahih Bukhnri and write a scholium on it. Only this much 
is known briefly from Sawanh-e Qctsimi that soon after completing the 
scholastic education (lit., the current curriculum) he had started the work 
of collating and correcting the press in Matba-e Ahmed), Delhi. During 
the last phase of this period (1267 1851), Maulana Mamluk Ali had died. 
Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi has written in Sawanh-e Qaslmi 
as under :— 

"During this time my father died on 11th Zil-hijja, 1267/1851. 
After his death I shifted to my own house. Maulavi Sahib (Hazrat Mau- 
lana Muhammad Qasim) also came over to live with me. In the upper 
storey was lying a loose bedstead on which he used to keep lying. Till 
nearly one year after my father's demise I lived in Delhi. Then, due to 
the service in Ajmer, 1 had to leave Delhi. Maulavi Sahib lived atone 
for some time in that house, then in the printing-press, and then for some 
days In Dar al-Baqa. It was during that period when Maulavi Ahmed 
Ali Saharanpuri entrusted the last five or six remaining portions of the 
Bukhari Snhrif 1o Maulavi Sahib for commentation end collation". 1 


It becomes clear from the arrangement of facts in Maulana Muha- 
mmad Yaqub Nanautavi's statement that Hazrat Nanautavi had comple- 
ted his education before 1267/1851. After Zil-hiiia 1268/1852. he 
passed nearly one year at Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi's house 
and at the end of 1268/1852, when the latter went to ioin his service at 
Ajmer,, he (Hazrat Nanautavi) lived at other places for some days, and it 
was during this period that the work of writing the scholium was en- 
trusted to him. 

As regards Hazrat Nanautavi's class-mate, Maulana Rasheed Ahmed 
Gangohi, it is known for certain that he stayed in Delhi for four years and. 
completing his education in 1265 1848, he went back, to his native-place. s ' 
Hence Hazrat Nanautavi's year of completion of sludies can be this year 
(A.H. 1265) only, Thus, he, as if, had finished his education at the seven- 
teenth year. 

It is stated at the end of that edilion of the Sahih Bukhari, which come 
out in 1322/1904 from the Matba-e Mujiubai of Delhi, thct 

1. Sawanh-e Qasimi, p, 9. 

2. Tazkirat al-Rasheed, vol. i, p. 35. 





"the printer made it a general edition and thereafter his sons who have 
had sufficient share of the rational and the traditional sciences and 
Muhammadan morals, published it in 1284/1867 and then again in 

It says in Hayat-e Shibli that the Sahih Bukhari was first published in 
1267/1850. The statement therein is:— 

"The main achievement of Maulana Saharanpuri is that with immense 
labour he collated, printed and published the manuscripts of Hadith 
books. Accordingly, he published the Jam'© Tirmizi in 1265/1848 and 
the Sahih Bukhari in 1267/1850. The late Maulana Shibli used to say 
that his late teacher had spent full twenty yea;s in collating the Bukhari 
and in writing : *s scholium. 1 

According to this writer, the date of printing given in the Mujtabai 2 
edition of the Sahih Bukhar; seems to be more accurate. The chronogram 
derived by Maulavf Muhammad Urnar bin Maulavi Ahmed Sa'eed al- 
Mujaddidi and mentioned at the end of the Sahih Bukhari is "Qa^t tab'a 
cisahho kutebin b'adct katabsllah", the numerical value of which comes 
to 1270. 

1. Hayat-e Shibli, 2nd ed., p. 85; Dar al- Musannafin, Azamgarh. 

2. Matba-e Mujtabai, Delhi, has been a celebrated pr#ss in India. It had been 
initially started at Meerut by Munshi Mumtaz AH. After the riotous revolu- 
tion of 1857 (A.H. 1274), when Matba-e Ahmedi, Delhi, came to art end, Hazrat 
Manautavi was employed by this Matba for the collation and correction of 
books. In 1285/1868. when Munshi Sahib went for haijj, Maulavi Abd al-Hadi 
(d. A.D. 1914) obtained proprietary rights over the Matba-e Mujtabai and 
thereafter printed a small-sized copy of the Holy Quran from the plates pre- 
pared by Munshi Mumtaz AM (for his own publication — Ashrafr-wall Hama'ii). 
and also published Malfuzat-e Shah Abd al-Aziz Dehelvi and Shah Sahib's 
another book, Mizan al-Balagha, etc. After him. his s^n : Maulana Qazi Bashir 
al-Din (d. A.D. 1945) ran this press and published some useful books 'like 
Tazkira-e Azizia, etc. This press was closed down after the partition of the 

In 1286/1869, after returning from hajj, Munshi Mumtaz Ali re-established 
Matab-e Mujtabai, this time at Delhi instead of Meerut. In 1304/1866, he emi- 
grated to Mecca, selling his press for Rs. 500/- to Maulavi Abd al-Ahad. In 
1920 (A.H. 1339), after Maulavi Abd al-Ahad's demise. Matba-e Mujtabai was 
divided amonqesf his several sons, and when the whole family emigrated to 
Pakistan in 1947 (A.H. 1366), the press ceased to exit. Matba-e Mujtabai was 
situated in Delhi near the Jama Masiid in Moha'la Churiwaian. 
Maulavi Abd al-Ahad improved Matba-e Mujtabai, Delhi, very much. In' respect 
of accuracy, books printed in this press were considered very valuable. Its 
publications were much sought after for private collections of bibliophils and 
institutional libraries. 
Thousands of books in Arabic, Persian and Urdu were printed and published 

84 ^ 

According to ihe aforesaid details, the year 1269/1852 alone can be the 
year when Hazrat Nanautavi collated and wrote scholium on the last five 
or six portions of the Sshth Bukhari. 

The year of his birth is 1248/1832 and hence at the time of correc- 
ting and writing 1he scholium his age can bo ci the rnosi 21 years. 
Maulana Manazir Ahsan Gilani has ambiguously shown it to ba 22 or 23 
years. He has stated : "Most probably, his respectable self's age must 
not have been more than 22 or 23 years". 1 

The people who were not aware of Hbzfcrt Nsnautavi's genius 
should have been necessarily surprised at this assignment to a young 
man of a momentous academic work like the collation and correction of 
and scholium-writing on the Sahih Bukhari; but the mature vision of 
Maulana Ahmed Ali had adequately recognised the uncommon savoir- 
faire and erudition of this pupil. 


Hazrat Nanautavi has played a greet pert in developing that meihod 
of affirmation and preference for ihe Hanafite mcfzhcb (method, creed) 
and that style of sifting and explanaiicns which are iodciy iha distinc- 
tive feature of the Dar*ai-tHum, Dsoband, and ere also current and in 
use more cr less in the lessons of hcidirh in the Arabic madrasahs- Till 
the middle of the thirteenth century h'jri only the translation of hadifh 
and the stating of ihe 'our methods (mazahlbts. arba'a) was considered 
enough; but when the Hanafites were accused by the Ahl-e Hadith very 
emphatically that their method was not in accordance wifft Hadiih, 
Hazrat Shah Muhmmcb ishaq and some of itrs learned disciples paid 

(Footnote from the previous page Continued) 

by Matba-e Mujtabai, Delhi. Almost all the text-books of the Nizami Curri- 
culum used to be printed at this press. In short, this press has rendered a 
great service to the Islamic arts and sciences. 

Excellent and qualified ulema used to collate, redact, correct the press and 
write scholia in this press, amongst them the names of Maulana Muhammad 
Ahsan Nanautavi, Maulana Muhammad Munir Nanautavi, Maulana Nizgm 
al-Din Keranvi, Maulana Khalil al-Rahman Burhsnpuri, Maulavi Muhammad 
Ishaq and Maulavi Muhammad Beg are noteworthy. 

Yusuf Bukhari Dshelvi has stated : "Next to Matba-e Nawal Kishore, Lucknow, 
if any other press achieved immortal fame, it was only Matba-e Mujtabai, Delhi. 
It printed dozens of editions and millions of copies. It is such a groat 
exploit that today our libraries are seen full of books of various arts and 
sciences" (Meulana M. Ahsan Na'iautavi, p. 161 & Sawanh-e Qasimi & "YeSi 
Dilii Hai" by Yusuf Bukhari, p. 103. 
Sawanh-e Qasimi, vol. i, p. 351, National Press, Deoband. 


alien. ion to in© aniriwijion and superiority (tarjih) of the Hanafite 
meshed. !n ihe Dar al-Uium Hazrat Nanautavi, Hazrat Shaikh al-Hind 
and other ulemo clove' oped it to such on extent that today no teaching 
institution of Haahh or repute is to be found devoid of if. 

Frcrn !!az:ct Nanautavi's lectures only those students could benefit 
adequately who ware themselves talented, intelligent and sharp-witted 
and, moreover, might have already reed the book with close attention. 
Hazrat Nanautavi's QJisi, maturity of vision and power of argumentation 
can he estimated en the whole from his books. His siatement was 
that "a!! the commandments of the Book and the Sunnah are whoily 
rational; however, the intellect of every person cannot have access 
there". Hakim Mansoor All Khan Morcdabadi, who is amongst the 
well-guided pupils of Hazrat Nanautavi, writes in his Mazhafo-o Mansoor 
about the peculiarities of his teacher's giving lessons end lectures as 
under :— 

"The tact is that whenever HaztOit Nanautavi proved any important 
and difficult proposition to be connary to the masses' concepts, great 
men of light and teaming used 10 De amazed and astonished. Ine 
commandment which looked absoiu^y wivnout any argument and 
demonstration used 10 look perfectly rational after his lecture. Great 
men or knowledge and learning would not dare to say anything 
against ,,ie arguments put forth by him". 1 

The following statement of Hazrat Shaikh al-Hind has been men- 
tioned in the Arwch-e Sstasa; he says :— 

"I used to attend Hazrat Nanautavi's lecture after having read Hazrat 
Shah Wali Allah's books and would ask him those things which used 
to be very difficult in the Shah Sahib's books. And what used to be 
ihe last answer in Shah Sahib's books, Hazrat (Nanautavi) would 
mention it first. I have experienced this thing several times". 2 

During the incipient period of the Dar al-Usum he taught Euclid for 
some days in the Chhaftd Mosque. During teaching whenever he felt 
it necessary to explain a figure to the students, he would draw the 
figure with his finger, without the help of instruments and explain it to 
the students, although he had studied mathematics and Euclid in Delhi 
College by himself, without the guidance of any teacher. Hazrat 
Nanautavi's lecture generally use d to be within the four walls of the 


1. Mazhab-e Mansoor, vol. M, p. 178. 

2. Arwah-e Salasa, Anecdote No. 34. 

86 S 

printing presses una was u.iended oy pe.sons amy. me 
grace ot h.s teaching proaucea such a party or accomp.isned, illustrious 
ulema tike nazrat snaiKn ai-rtmd Mauiana Manmud nasan Deobandi, 
Maulana Ahmed Hasan Anirohi, Maulana raKhr ai-nasan Oangom, en. 
the example whereof is not to fce seen after Hazrat Shan Aba al-Ghanis 
time And then he establ.shed the system ot religious sciences througn 
the central educationaJ institution iike the Dar al-Uium, whicn now, aue 
to its vareigated quality, is the greatest seminary in Asia. 

Some peculiarities of Hazrat Maulana Nanautavi's teaching-work 
are very important. A great one among them is that he never made 
it a means ot earning his living. Due to not being rich, he, ot necess.ty, 
adopted a service for earning his livelihood, but, instead ot the educa- 
tional line, he sought a job of coiidtion and emendation of books in a 
press; and then, contrary to (he general wont, instead ot increment m 
pay, he used to insist on decrement, and used to be content with such 
little pay, a mere pittance, on which he couid subsist with great diffi- 
culty, He never agreed 10 take more than ten, fifteen rupees as pay. 
The highest post during the time that could be given to an Indian could 

be his as Maulana Muhammad Yaqub has said 'at the slightest 

wink of his eyes'; as such, many of those who were his contemporaries 
during the educational career and were far inferior to him in academic 
ability had been appointed on high government posts in the education 
department, but he never approved of accepting on educational service. 
His father possessed a small plot of cultivable land and was cherishing 
the hope that when the son would become a religious doctor after com- 
pleting education, he would get a job of reasonable salary. When 
Maulana's contemporaries were appointed to good posts and he did not 
show any inclination towards service, his father felt very sorry and told, 
by way of a complaint, Hazrat Haji lmdad Allah: "This was my only 
son on whom I had pinned many hopes. If he earned something and 
did service, our poverty would be removed. God knows what you 
have done to him that he is not willing to take up a job". Haji Sahib 
listened and held his peace then, but later on sent him a word: "You 
complain of narrow circumstances. Allah Most High will give him so 
much even without service that he will be better off than in service, 
and holders of high posts will take pride in serving him". 

The method of the ulema of the former times was different from 
the system of teaching and learning the Arabic sciences, madrasahs 
and cliquism that prevails and is current nowadays. Generally the 
ulema, sitting in their homes and mosques, used to teach purely for the 
sake of Allah; and for earning their livelihood they either took to 


commercial dealings or used to pass life trusting in Allah. Very often 
it also happened that the uiema who did no business for livelihood, and 
engaged themselves in teaching, trusting in the Providence, were given 
reasonable stipends from the government of the day. The courage and 
perseverance and contentment of the heart with which Hazrat Nanautavi, 
inspite of severely unfavourable circumstances, maintained this precious 
practice (lit., thing, effects) of the predecessors behoved him only. Hazrat 
Haji Sahib used to say about him : Formerly sometimes there used to 
be such people; now they do not happen to be since long". 

Atter having completed his educational career, Hazrat Nanautavi, 
as a means or livelihood, adopted the job ot collating and emending 
ot books in Maiba-e Anmeai, Deihi, and this remained the means of 
earning till the end. Along with emendation, the practice of teaching 
also continued. Besides the Sihah Sitla, he also used to teach Masnavi-e 
Viciulcinct Rum and other books, but the teaching work was done, instead 
o. in a madrasah, inside the four waiis of printing presses or a mosque 
or a house, where particular students only used to sit respectfully. 


lndepende.nce from want, humility and meekness were to such a 
degree in his disposition that he never used the peculiar style of dress 
of ihe ulema — the gown and the tuiban. He used to feel much em- 
barrassed by veneration- He used to say; "This nominal knowledge 
spoilt me otherwise I would have marred my condition so much that 
none would have known that a man named Qasim was at all barn". He 
used to keep off generally from those matters in which there couid be 
a chance of being conspicuous. 1 

In 1277/1860 he went for ha j j and on return from there he took 
up the job of collating books in Matba-e Mujtabai, Meerut, and remained 
attached to the same press till 1285/1868. Meanwhile, he again hap- 
pened to go for hajj, and thereafter he joined Matba-e Hashimi, Meerut. 
During this period the occupation of teaching continued but he never 
liked service in any madrasah. The author of Sawanh-e Makhtutcth 
has stated :— 

"It is a fact known to all that the Madrasah Islami of Deoband was 
founded and developed by him only, and what a small government 
it is, this establishment; but he never took advantage of anything. 
!n the incipience the members of the council .requested him to accept 

1. Sawanh-d Qasim i, p. 10, 


teachership in thit. madrasah end in return for it a meagre salary, 
but he did not accept and at no time, by any manner or method, 
to'eratec! \o have even a grcin from the madrasah, although day and 
night he used to be busy in she good tncnagement of the madrasah 
ond engaged in leaching. If perchance he wrote any of his letters 
with the pen and imc-pot of the madrasah, he would immediately 
pay one anna 1o the treasury of the madrasah" 1 


Hazrat Nanautavi's greatest and most giorious achievement is the 
revivifying of an educational movement for the renaissance of religious 
sciences in India and the Formulation of those gjiciing principles for the 
religious schools on which their survival depends. Through his atten- 
tion and persuasion religious madrasahs were started at different places, 
like Thana Bhavan (Dist- Muzaffarr.agar), Gulaothi {Dist. Buiand Shahar), 
Ksrana (Dist. Muzaffarnagar), Danpur (Dist. Bulcnd Shahar), Meerut, 
Moradabad, etc. Most of them stiii exist, rendering educational and 
reiigicus services in their vicinity, the details of which will be given in 
the third chapter. 

Shoulder to shoulder with ibe English power, Christianity too had 
risen high in India and prodigious efforts had been made to convert the 
pecple of India, particularly the Muslims, to Christianity in every possi- 
ble way. With the support end co-operation of the Company bases of 
Christian preaching and organisation were established throughout the 
length and breadth of the country, and after the revolution of 1857/ 
1274, this system received further! impetus and expansion. Padres began 
to impeach and impugn Islam and the Prophet of Islam (Allah's peace 
and blessings be on him!) in bazars, fairs and common gatherings. When 
Hazrat Nonautavi, during the period of his stay in Delhi witnessed this 
situation, he also ordered his pupils to stand like that in the bazars to give 
sermons and repugn and repudiate the padres. One day he himself, 
without introduction and giving out his name, reached a gathering and, 
breaking lance with Padre Tara Chanel, repulsed him publicly in the bazar. 
Thereafter he came to be introduced with ihe famous polemic of Islam, 
Maulana Abul Mansoor Nasir al-Din Ali Dehelvi (d. 132G/19Q2). This 
event took place between Rabi' al-Awwal, 1292, and Jamadi al-thania 
1292. This was the period when Hazrat Nanautavi was staying in 
Munshi Mumtaz Ali's Matba-e Mfjiabai, Delhi. 

1. Sawanh-e Makhtutah, p. 536. 

89 ^ 


A dangerous conspiracy hatched by the English govei'nment was that 
ir set the Hindus against the Muslims. The Muslims had once had 
Political importance and supremacy in Iridic. The English now, under 
their policy, pushed up the Hindus end brought down the Muslims. When 
the Hindus advanced in the economic and political fields, the English 
prompted them towards the path of religious superiority and prepared 
them to break lance with the Muslims, and also provided the opportuni- 
ties for this that the Hindus polemize with thci Muslims ope:ily. 

Then, on May 8, 1 '676, a '"Fair for God-Consciousness''' was held at 
Chandapur village, near Shahjahanpur (U.P.), under the auspices of the 
locai zamindar, Hiare lg! Kabir-panthi, under the management of Padre 
Knowtes, and with the support and permission of the collector of Shah- 
jahanpur, Mr. Robert George. Representatives of ail the three religions, 
Christian, Hindu and Muslim, were invited through posters to attend and 
prove the truthfulness of their respective religions. At the suggestion of 
Maulana Muhammad Munir Nanautavi &nd Mauiavi iiahi Bakhsh Rcmgin 
Boreilivi, Hozrat Nanautavi, accompanied by Maulana Mahmud Hasan, 
Maulana Rahesm Allah Bijnori and Maulana Fokhr al-Hasan, reached 
the fair. Besides Hazrat Nanautavi, Maulana Abul Mansoor Dehelvi, 
Mirza Mujid Jullunduri, Mauiavi Ahmed Ali Dehelvi, Mir Haider Dehelvi, 
A4aulavi Nau'man b:n Luqman and Maulana Rcngin Bareillvi also parti- 
cipated. A!! these ulema delivered speeches at this fair, causing the 
desired effect. In repudiation of the Doctrine of Trinity end Polytheism, 
and en affirmation of Divine Unity (Monotheism), Hazrat Nanautavi 
spoke so we!! that the audience, both those who were against and 
these who v/ere for him, were convinced. 

One newspaper writes r— 

"In the gathering of 8th May of the current year (1876 v , Maulana 
Muhammad Qasim gave a lecture and stated the merits of Islam. The 
Padre Sahib explained the Trinity (or Tri unity) in a strange manner, 
saying that in a line a-s found three attributes: length, breadth and 
depth, and thus Trinity is proven in every v/ay. The said Mauiavi 
Sahib confuted it promptly. Then, while the Padre Sahib and the 
Mauiavi Sahib were debating regarding the speech, the meeting 
broke up, and in the vicinity and on all sides arose the outcry that 
the Muslims 'had won. Wherever a reliaiaus divine of Islam stood, 
thousands of men would gather around him. In the meeting of the 
first day the Christians did not reply to the objections raised by the 


followers of islam, while the Muslims replied the Christians word 
by word and won". 1 

Next year this "fair''' was hek! agarn in March, 1877. This time 
Munshi Indraman Moradabadi and Pandit Dayanand (d. 1882/1301), lhc 
founder of the Arya Samaj, also participated. Dayanandji spoke in San- 
stritized Hindi. Padre Know;es had called one Padre Scot also. Hazrat 
Nanautavt's speeches were delivered on Theism, Monotheism, and inter- 
polation in Religion, and proved to be very successful. 

The duties of providing board and lodging to the ulema of Islam 
were discharged this time by Muhammad Tahir Moti Mian. 2 

Hazrat Nanautavi, participating both the years in the said fair, 
frustrated the Christians' conspiracy. On this occasion, Prof. Muhammad 
Ayyub Qadiri, writing in Maulana Ahmed Hasan Nanautavi's biography, 
says that 

"one thing specially deserves deliberation here that the fair for God- 
consciousness at Shahjahanpur was held consecutively for two years with 
announcement and publicity, throwing, in a way, a challenge to the 
religion of Islam and yet one does not find a clue to any interest the 
ulema of Bareilly and Badaun, the two districts so near, almost conti- 
guous to Shahjahanpur, may have evinhed in this fair." 3 


In Shawwal, 1294/1877, Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, 
with a party of eminent ulema went for hajj and returned from there in 
Rabi al-Awwai, 1295/1877. On his way back, he fell ill at Jedda. After 
reaching his native-place, he recovered somewhat but the disease was not 
fully cured. The same year, In Sha'ban. A.H. 1295, he received infor- 
mation from Roorke that Pandit Dayanondji had reached there and was 
levelling objections against Islam. Maulana Nanautavi, despite his 

1. Akhbar "Khayr-khwah-e Alam", Delhi, dated 19th May, 1676, referred to in 
Tarikh-e Sahafat-e Urdu, vol. ii, pt. i, pp. 441-2. Also vide The Arya Samaj 

(English) by Dewan Chand, p. 122. 

2. Maulana Manazir Ahsan Gilani has written Muhammad Tahir Moti Mian to be 
among the progency of Shah Madan Shahabadi fd. A.H. 1188), but this is not 
correct. Moti Mian was the great-grandson of Maulavi Madan (Majd ai-Din) 
(d. A.H. 1228). Moti Mian bin Maulavi Abd Allah bin Maulavi Nizam al-Din 
bin Maulavi Majd al-Din alias Maulavi Madan. (Vide Tarikh-e Shahjahanpur 
by Mian Sabeeh al-Din. pp. 147-157. Pub. : Lucknow, 1932. 

3. Maulana. Muhammad Ahsan, Nanautavi, p. 221. 

91 ^ 

weakness and illness, wenl to Roorke and howevermuch he wished to 
have a debate with Panditji in a public gathering, the latter did not 
agree and left Roorke. Then, at Hazrat Nanautavi's instance, Maulana 
Fakhar a!-Hasan Gangohi and Maulana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi deli- 
vered lectures in public meetings and threw a challenge to Panditji- Haz- 
rat Maulana Nanautavi gave replies to his objections in public meetings 
and, thereafter, wrote a treatise on "Istaqbal-e Qibla" (the direction of 
the holy Ka'ba towards which the Muslims turn their faces in prayer but 
do not actually worship it). 1 

Thereafter Panditji reached Meerut and there too he adopted the same 
manner. At the request of the Muslims of Meerut, Hazrat Nanautavi went 
to Meerut. There also Panditji did not agree to have a debate. So, Haz- 
rat Nanautavi, gave replies to his objections in a forceful speech he delivered 
in a public meeting at Meerut. 


Bringing into currency the re-marriage of widows is also a glorious 
social and reformative acnievement of his- Till the end of the thirteenth 
century hijri the re-marriage of widows was considered very reproachful. 
People used to feel its disgracefulness but no one had the courage to put 
an end to it. By the laudable efforts of Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed, Mau- 
lana Muhammad Isma'ii Shaheed Dehelvi, Maulana Mamluk All Nanau- 
tavi, Maulana Muzaffar Husain Kandhiawi, Maulana Muhammad Ahsan 
Nanautavi and Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, the re- 
marriage of widows came very much into vogue. Hazrat Nanautavi, 
making his widowed sister, who was much older than himself and had 
become quite old, prepared for re-marriage, broke up this disgraceful 
custom in such a way that now no one knows that such a custom once 
prevailed here. 


Taking manly part in the battie for independence in 1857, he captured 
the tehsil of Shamli in Muzaffamagar district but the corrupted political 
atmosphere prevailing the did not iet him advance further from Shamli. 
This incident of recounter alj Shamii is so well-known that it need not be 
repeated here. 

Hazrat Nanautavi has left behind more than two dozen books to 
perpetuate his memory. In his time he set his pen to paper on those 

1. Vide Intesar al-lslam by Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, pp. 2-7, 
Pub. : Deoband, 1952. 

92 X 

quesiicns which weie mostly on the ictpisl ihen. Ail his books have been 
written in response to one query c. the oiher. Munshi Mumtaz All, 1 pro- 
prietor at Mqfba-e. Mvjfqbai, Deity, inI2V2/1875, had chalked out a pro- 
gramme to publish a. i of Hazrar Nanauiavi's works. In the adveriise- 
ment of this p.ogicmme prin.ed by him, he had stated :— 

"Many gentlemen must be knowing Maulavi Muhammad Qasim Sahib. 
He avoids contention and disputation and passes an independent lire 
in a condition of detachment, if ssme one sfisnt him a query regarding 
some difficult proposition from distant iand, he would write its answer, 
otherwise he has'nt anything to do with anyone- And why should 
he have, for he has no irace of carnality in him? This slave is enamou- 
red of his independent way of live and fond of his disquisitional writ- 
ings. For a long time I was contemplating to seiure his writings some- 
how and, having primed them, show the tamasha of divine omnipo- 
tence to the high-minded people of the t'me He had a prodig- 
ious talent in proving il-.e rel;gio-!egal propositions with rational argu- 
ments and in refuting the philosophers' propositions also with the 
same rational arguments". 2 


Hozrcrt Nanautavi passed away on Thursday, 4ih I Jamadi al-Ula, 
1297/1880, at the age of 49 years- His sacred grave is to the north of 
the Dir ol-Ulum, clay-built according to the sunnah practice. This place 
is known as Qabrastcn-e Qasimi, where countless ulema, students, pious 
men and other people are lying buried- 

Munshi Mumtaz AM ibn Shaikh Amjad AM Meeruthi was a celebrated calli- 
graphist of his time. Nuzhat-Raqam was his title and in calligraphy he was 
a disciple of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor. Copies of the 
holy Quran written by him have had great importance as regards accu- 
racy and orthography. The circle of Munshi Sahib's disciples was very 
vast. Formerly he usod to work as a copyist in Delhi at Maulana Ahmed 
AM Muhaddith Saharanpuri's Matba-e Ahmedi. After the revolution of 1857 
he set up his own press in Meerut under the name of Matba-e Mujtabai. 
Hazrat Nanautavi used to work in the same press. In 1258/1868, when 
Munshi Sahfb went (or haji, Maulavi Abd al-Hadi acquired the rights of 
running the Matba-e Mujtabai. Next year, after returning from haji, he 
established, in 1286/1869, his Matba-e Mujtabai in Delhi instead of Meerut. 
In 1304/1886. when Munshi Sahib determined to emigrate to Mecca, he sold 
the press to Maulavi Abd al-Ahad for Rs. 500/-. There is mention of 
Munshi Mumtaz AM in Mirza Ghalib's letters, It was he who had published 
first Ghalib's Ood-e Hindi in his Matba-e Mujtabai at Meerut. 

S.Mahbood Rizvi. 
Mculana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautavi. P. 225. 

93 / 

Many people wrote chronogrammaiic quatrains on Hazrat Nanau- 
tavi's death. The one composed in Urdu by Mauiana Fazl ai-Rahman 
Usmani is still hanging in the Vice-chcn:e!iar's office, just to give an 
idea of the thoughts expressed in it, 'he English translation of the verses 
is given below ;— 

"Such is the sorrow caused by the passing away of the Qosim of the 
assembly of guidance that every heart (lit., interior) is sipping the 
draught of grief- Such is this sorrow frfa'f thereby ihe cup of the assem- 
bly af spiritual knowledge is inverted tike the cask of ihe sky. Not only 
is the earth pallid due to this sorrow; the attire of the sky tco is bluish 
in this mourning- Though the supporters of the Shari'ah have had 
boundless sorrow, ihe wayfarers of the Path are suffering it doubly. 
Where's the true supporter o* the madrasah of religion that without him 
the realm of knowledge and ctctioji is desolate? Don't ask about the 
condition of the sad hearts cf the ihirs'y seekers of knowledge, as to how 
their life is in your srporaticn- If the flame of separation has grilled 
the liver, the fire of -he grief "of separation has roasted the heart. 
However, from your sacred grave, O good-natured one, your devotees 
do have a patience cy sorts- Ou* of anguish wrote Fazl this year of 
death : 'Wctfat-e Sarwar-c Aiarn k« yeh romcori:! hat' (i.e-, this is a 
specimen of the death of the Chief of the World"- (The numerical value 
of the Urdu letters of the last haff-yerse totals up to A.H- 1297). 


The names of those gentlemen who participated from the very in- 
ccpiicn in ec.ablishin-j ihe Dot al-Ulum and in running t!s administration 
a; e as follows ; — 

Hazrat Maul- ,na Muhammad Qpstm Ncnautavi, Hazrat Mauiana 
Muhammad YcquL Nanoutavi, Hazra! Haji Sayyid Muhammad Abid Deo- 
bco: : , Hsjzraj M'.y'ana Rafi a!->?in Decbc d\, Hazraj-Malifajna Zu'fiqar Ali 
Deobandj end Hazrat Mauiana Fazl al-Rahman Usmani Deobandi. 
Pamculars about Hazrat Nanautayi hcjva already been given above; of 
the remaining first three will bo presented in the following chapters, 
and of the latter two are given below :— 


Mauiana Zulfiqnr Ali was Mauiana Mahmud Hasan's father. He 
had studies in Delhi Colleae under Mauiana Mamluk Ali Nanautovi 
(d. T267/T B5T). After graduation he was anointed as a professor in 

Bareiily College and a few years later he was appointed as Deputy 
Inspector in the Education Department. He had had great mastery over 
the Arabic language and literature. He wrote Tashil al-Darasa as com- 
mentary of Divan-e Himasa, Tashil a!-Bay«n as the commentary of 
Oivan-e Mutanabbi, Al-Tci'iiqat'alct al-Sab'a al-Mu'allaqat as the com 
mentary of the Scib'a Mu'cillaqa, hshad as the commentary of Qasido 
Bcmt Su'ad, and 'llr al-Wcirdah as the commentary of the Qasida-e Burda, 
in Urdu- He has translated the unfamiliar and difficult words and 
idioms of Arabic in such lucid and idiomatic language end the explana- 
tion is so agreeable that these tough books of Arabic literature have 
become very easy and intelligible for the Indian students. In Rhetorics 
he left behind Tazkirat al-BaiaghHt, and in mathematics, Tashil al-Hfsab. 

In A. H. 1307 he wrote a brief treatise in Arabic, entitled Al-Hadya 
ol-Sinya fi Zikr al-AAadrasat al-lslamiyct al-Deobandiya, in which he has 
reviewed in a very subtle and literary style the attributes and accom- 
plishments of the eiders of the Dor ai-Ulum and the peculiarities of 

Regarding Maulana Zulfiqor Ali, the famous author of France, 
Garcin de Tassy writes :— 

"He was an alumnus of Delhi College. After some years he became 
a professor in Bareiily College. In 1857 he was a deputy inspector of 
schools in Meerut. Mr. Taylor who was acquainted with him says 
about him that Zulfiqar Ali, besides being intelligent and quick-witted, 
was conversant with Persian and western sciences also. He has written 
a book, Tashil oUH'seb ("Arithmetic Made Fasy") in Urdu which has 
been published in Bareiily in 1852". 1 

After receiving pension (on retirement) he served as an Honorary 
Magistrate in Deoband. He was amongst the earliest founders of the 
Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. He died at the age of 85 years, in 132*2/1904. 
His grave is situated to the east, near Hazrat hhnautavi's. On his left 
lies buried Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautavi, of which an interest- 
ing indication is given by the following Urdu verse composed by 
Maulana Fazl al-Rahman Usmani :— 

"Yes. sleep more comfortably between your own two friends : Qasim 
of the banquet of affection and the suave Ahsan". 

1. Garcin de Tassy referred to in Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautavi, p. 27. 




Maulana FazI al-Rohman Usmani had also studied under Maulana 
Mamtuk AM in the Delhi College. He was one of the founders of the 
Dar al-Ulum and remained a member of the Majlis-a Shura till the end. 
He was a high-ranking poet of Persian and Urdu; many poems, pane- 
gyrics, elegies etc. reflect his high poetical taste. In 1301/1883, a 
terrific plague had burst out in Deoband. He has versified the devas- 
tations of this plague in Persian language. The chronogrammatic name 
of this descriptive poem is "Qissa-e Gham-e Diban" (A.H. 1301), which 
is a historical document on the conditions of Deoband. Maulana FazI 
-Rahman had had great expertise in composing chronograms also. 
Many of his poems and chronogrammatic fragments have been quoted 
in the reports of the Dar ai-U!um. He held the post of Deputy Inspector 
of Schools in the Education Department. He was posted as such at 
Bareilly, Bijnore, Saharanpur and other distcts. In 1857 he was deputy 
inspector of schools at Bareilly. During this tumultuous event when 
Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautavi was constrained to leave Bareilly, 
he had entrusted some of his matters to him only. 1 

Maulana FazI al-Rahman passed away in 1325/1907. He left 
behind amongst his sons such reputed and matchless ulema like Hazrat 
Maulana Mufti Aziz al-Rahman Usmani, Mufti-e Azam, Dar al-Uulm, 
Deoband; Hazrat Maulana Habib al-Rahman Usmani, Vice-Chancellor, 
Dar al-Ulum, Deoband; and Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, Chan- 
cellor, Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. The chief administrator of Nadvat al- 
Musannafin, Delhi, Hazrat Maulana Mufti Atiq al-Rahman Usmani, is his 
grandson. Hazrat Maulana FazI al-Rahman's sons and successors have 
rendered great academic and religious services, which, thank Allah, still 


Although no clue of Hazrat Gangohi's formal relation with the Dar 
al-Uulm; is found 2 before A.H. 1285, in the light of the deep relations 

1. Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautavi, p. 52. 

2. Hazrat Ganpohi's following inspection is mentioned in the report for A.H. 1285 :- 
Today, on 3rd Rajah. A.H. 1285. this humble being visited the Madrasah of 
Deoband and happened to inspect the condition of the madrasah, teachers 
and the tauaht. From the chart was known the presence of 85 Arabic- 
learninq students besides those who Fearn Persian and the Quran. From 
what little was heard in different classes (from the studentsl, the manaqers' 
manaqement. the teachers' sincere effort and the students' endeavour and 
labour were found to be worthy of applause. If they continue to fry like 
this, the probability is that, completing the acquirement of Arabic within 
a short time they will be able to give the benefit of their knowledge of reli- 
gious sciences. Finis. The slave hoping for Allah's mercy, 

Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi. 

1. Gangoh is an ancient village of Saharanour (district), ascribed to Raja Gang 
of the ancient India. It is nearfy 33 miles south of Saharanpur. This village 
has acquired historical fame due to its relation with one of the celebrated 
Chishtiyyp Shaikhs, viz., Hazrat Shaikh Abd al-Quddus (a. 945/1538). 

2. Mufti Sadar a'-Din Azurda was born in Delhi in 1204/1789. He ccnnleted his 
education under the instruction of Shnh Abd al-Aziz, Shah Abd al-Qadir and 
Shah Muhammad Ishaq. Thn East lir^?. Company had apcoirrted him to the 
post of Chief Judge (Sadr al-sudur) and mufti at Delhi. He used to teach 
students at his residence. In 1857. under the inculpation of having set his 
signature on the fetwa for jihad (aga'nst the English), his library worth three 
lakhs of rupees and his estate were confiscated. He was released from 
internment after several months and some of his estate too was restored to 

He used to write poetry in all the three lannuaqes : Arabic, Persian and 
Urdu; Azurda was his nom de plume. He re-started the old madrasah, Dar 
al-Baqa, of Delhi. He use^ to bear all the expenses of the students himself. 
He died on Thursday. 24th Rabi al-Awwal. A.H. 1285/1868. 



he has had ob ir.Wio with the elders of the Dar al-Ulum, it seems im- 
possible 1hat he might have remained >nconc3rned with the movement 
of the Dai- al-Ulum, After their stay in the Dar c^-'Jium and completing 
iheir education there, seme siudents us2d to go to Gangoh and used to 
benefit by attending Hazrat Gangchi's lectures on Hadith. Hence it 
becomes necessary ond inevitable to mention Hazrat Gangohi along with 
the elders of the Dar al-Ulum. 

Hazrcn Gengohi was born ori Monday, 6th Ziqa'da, A.H. 1242, at 
Gangoh 1 . His august father, Mciulcma riidayat Ahmed, was an excellent 
religious divine of his ilrnc end a mfjjpz (a disciple authorized by the 
murshid to receive b7.*'r'h — spiritual allegiance — and give spiritual 
guidance), of Hazrat Shal: Ghulam Ali Mujaddidi of Delhi. 

Hazrat Gangohi, having read the holy Quran at his native-place, 
went to I'ernal to live with his m-i'orn^l-uncle end under him he studied 
bee'es of Persian. Then he studied gemmar an syntax under Maulrvi! Bakhsh Rampuri. In A.H. 1261 he went (o Delhi and bs- 
came a pupil of Maulana Mcmluk A'i Nonoutavi. It was here that he 
cultivated attachment with Hazrat Nanautav! which was maintained till 
the end. In Delhi he read some boolcs of the rational sciences under 
the instruction of Mufti 5adr al-Din AzW^a 2 als?. At the end he lived 
in thje company of Hazrct Shah Abd a!-Ghani Mujaddidi end acquired 
the science of Hadith from him. 

After having completed his education, he waited upon Shaikh al- 
Masha'ildi Hazrat Haji Imr'ad Allah and atlaired the honuor of bai'ah. 
Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi has stated in Sdwarth-e Qastmi : 


There has been class-fellowship and friendship between Maulavi Ra- 
sheed Ahmed Gangohi and Maulavi Muhammad Qasim from this time 
onwards. In the end he read Hadith under Shah Abd al-Ghani and 
during the same period both of them vowed allegiance to Hazrat Haji 
Imdad Allah (may his >adow last long!) and started the suluk (traver- 
sing of the Sufi way)", . *\au!ana Rasheed Ahmed traversed the path 
very quickly; accordingly, within the short span of 40 days he was 
awarded khilafat and, returning to Gangoh, he made his abode in 
Hazrat Shaikh Abd al-Quddus Gangohi's cloister. 1 During this period 
the means of livelihood was medical practice. 

Intrepidly he stirred out from the r Quddusian hospice in 1857 to 
stand up in battle array against the English and, participating in the 
jihad at .Shamli in the company of his murshid, Haji Sahib, and other 
companions, fought valiantly When Hafiz Zamin Shaheed fell on the 
battle-ground, he picked up his corpse, took it to a mosque nearby, and 
sitting near it, started reading the Quran. 

After the recounter of Shamli a warrant of arrest was issued against 
him. He was arrested and sent to Saharanpur jail from where he was 
shifted to Muzaffarnagar. Six months were passed in jail. There many 
prisoners became his adherents with the result that they all began to say 
prayers congregationally in the prison. 

After his release from jail, he started teaching. In A.H. 1299, after 
his third half he made if an obligation for himself that he would complete 
the entire Sihah Sitta within one year. The regular practice was that he 
used to teach the students from morninq till 12-'00 noon. Hearing about 
the fame of his teaching, students of Hadith used to come to him from 
distant places, their number sometimes reaching to seventy and eighty 
and included students from outside India as well. His behaviour with 
the students used to be very kind and affectionate. The lecture used to 
be so lucid that even an average man could understand it, and a special 
quality of his teaching of Hadith was that after listening to the content 
of a hadith one used to be infused with the eagerness to act uoon it. 
His lecture on Jam'e Tirmizi has been published under the title Al- 

1. This cloister in the hosnice of Hazrat Outub al-Aiam Ganqohi was lying 
umnhabitated and desolate for centuries and had become, by vicissitudes 
of time, the stable and retreat of washermen's ponies and donkeys Hazrat 
Gangohi cleansed the cloister of all dirt and rubbish, dua up the dirty and 
unclean earth, poured clean earth, there, and plastered and whitewashed 
the^ walls. Thus, after nearly three hundred and fifty years, this cloister 
which was the abode of a great spiritual guide of the tenth century hijri 
became habitable again. 


Kaukctb al-Durri, which, despite its brevity, is a very comprehensive 
commentary on the Tirmizi. His teaching-work continued till A.H. 1314 
More than three hundred gentlemen completed the course of Hadith, the 
last pupil amongst them being Hazrat Shaikh al-Hadith Maulana Muham- 
mad Zakariya's august father, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Yahaya 
Kanrfhlavi, In the end the lectures stopped due to the ailment of catar- 
act in the eyes but the practice of spiritual instruction and inculcation 
and fetwa-issuing continued regularly. Great attention was paid to 
inducing end persuading the audience and visitors for zikr (remem- 
brance of Allah). Those who came to wait upon htm necessarily used 
to take along with them at least some inclination for the things of the 
Hereafter. He used to be very anxious about conforming to the sunnah 
in every matter. 

In A.H. 1297, after Hazrat Nanautavi's death, he was mode patron 
of the Dcsr al-Ulum. The unravelling of knotty problems of the Dar al- 
Ulum in times of difficulty was one of his great peculiarities. From A.H. 
1314 he agreed to be the patron of Madrasah Mazahir-e U'um, Saha- 
ranpur, also. 

On Fiqh and Tasawwuf he wrote nearly 14 books. 

With some variance in report, he died al the age of 78 years on 
Friday, 8th or 9th Jomadi al-Sani, 1323/1905, after the prayer-call for 
the Friday prayer. Of his pupils there is a vest circle, which includes 
gruat end illustrious ulema. Similarly, the list of his khalifas (spiritual 
successors) too is quite long. The details of his life are available in 
Tazkirat ttl-Rasheed, a book compiled in two volumes by Maulana 
Ashiq llahi Meeruthi. 



Deoband and the Dar al-Ulum are concomitant, as close as brassiere 
is to the body; -he Dar al-Ulum is very deeply connected with Deoband. 
The history of Deoband is a part of the greatness and honour of the 
Dar al-Ulum. Deobcnd is a very old habitation. This name is a com- 
pound of "Devi" and "Ban", and so the habitation was formerly known 
as Deviban, which, due to excessive use, later on became Diban and 
then, in common parlance, it changed to Deoband. 

Deoband is situated in north India on 29'58 () latitude and 77'35° 
altitude. The Northern Railway passes through the south-west of Deoband. 


The Deoband railway station is 144 kilometres north of Delhi. In the Uttar 
Pradesh state of India, Deoband is a lehsil in the Sjharanpur district. Its 
position wes the same during the Mughal regime also. Remains of an 
ancient fort are also found here. A fort made of baked bricks during 
Fmperor Akbar's period (963/1555 — 1014/1605} was also existing here. 
About this fort Abul Faz! has stated in the Aa'ir-e Akbaii as under:— 

"Deoband has had a fort of baked bricks". 

It says in the Imperial Gazeteer of India- as follows :— 

"The Pandavas had passed Ihe initial period of their exile at this very 
place. The fort here was among the earliest forts captured by Salar 
Mas'ud Ghazi". 

Traces of Muslim population in Deoband are found since the seventh 
century hijri (thirteenth century A.D). Qazi Danyal Qatri, a disciple 
of Khwaja Usman Haruni (d. 607/1210', lived here long during Qutub 
al-Din Aibak's (602/1206 - 606/1210) regime. The tomb of Shah Ala 
al-Din Junglebash (d. 742/1341), a pupil of a pupil of the great tradi- 
tionist, Ibn Jauzi, to the south east of Deoband is a shrine visited by ihe 
high and the low- The population of Deoband is nearly forty thousand 
out of which a little more than half are Muslims. 

Some mosques built during the Islamic rule are still extant in Deo- 
band, particularly Mas[id-e Qil'ah of Sultan Sikonder Lodi's time (394/ 
1488 - 923/1 51 7/- Masjid-e Khanqch of Emperor Akbar's regime {963/ 
1555 - 1014/1605); and Masjid-e Abul Ma'ali of Awrangzeb's period 
(1068/1657 — 1118/1706)- The above-mentioned mosques are those 
which have had inscriptions in them; some others are reported to be still 
older than them but a historical proof of their antiquity is not found. 5 '. 

It is a remarkable peculiarity of this land - the north-western dis- 
tricts of Uttor Pradesh - that it has always been a repository of reli- 
gious traditions- This green and fertile part of the country irrigated by 
the Ganges and the Jamuna has been considered holy from times imme- 
morial. The establishment of the Dar al-Ulum in the last phase of the 
thirteenth century hijri added more grace to its glory wherefore its 
fame spread throughout the world and students from the continents of 

1. vol. ii, p. 143. 

2. vol. xi, 242; A.D. 1008. 

3. For details regarding Deoband, vide (his writer's Tarikh-e Deoband. 

S. M. Rtzvi 


Asia and Africa began to be drawn to it. For more than a hundred 
years Deoband has been the centre of religious s:iences and Islamic 
culture. In short, 1his fame has played a great part in the service of 
religion and the advancement of knowledge. The unparalleled educalional, 
academic and idea! role that the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, in its capacity 
of a great and glorious, teaching institutions has played in the history of 
the Indian Muslims is sui generis- Indeed it is difficult to find an 
example of such great service even in other Islamic countries as its 
inspired sons are rendering fervently, for more or less one hundred years, 
to Islam and the religious sciences. The ulema nurtured here hove been 
irrigating, besides the sub-continent, the Islamic countries of Asia also 
from the limpid stream of their knowledge and action 

The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is not only a centre of religious education 
of ihe Indian Muslims; it has rather had the honour of being the head- 
spring of many religious movements- A contributor says in the Mujallo-e 
Ulum al-Din, Aligarh, as under :— 

"Its graduates have made great achievement in the academic field 
which include, besides the writing and compilation of useful books, 
discovery of c!d academic treasures, useful and significant com- 
mentaries, scholia and translations of countless books 

"Besides this the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has also been a centre of 
political guidance for the Indian Muslims. Its graduates have not 
only associated with and worked for different movements but have 
also been themselves instrumental in the creation of several move- 
ments- Thus they had always been guiding the Muslims correctly 
till they achieved the country's independence". 1 

Having taken innumerable students of religion into its laps, the Dar 
al-Ulum has enabled them academically to discharge the obligation of 
preaching Islam admirably in the sub-continent: India, Pakistan and 
Bong' I a Desh- Accordingly, a distinct contributing factor in whatever 
religious awakening is found today in India, Pakistan, etc., consists in 
the consistent efforts of the> ulema of Deoband. 

The large-heartedness, liberality and love of knowledae which the 
inhabitants of Deoband have displayed in the establishment, main- 
tenance and progress of the Dar al-Ulum are surely scarce, if not 
unexampled. It is indeed a very qreat exploit of the people of Deoband 
— the way the charitable among them vied with one another in providing 

1. Mujalla-e Ulum al-Din, 1971-72, p. 1S6. 


board and lodging and other creature comforts' to the outside students. 
Hozrat Nanaufavi once observed :— 

"The sympathy shown by the inhabitants of this place is no) such thai 
it may be expressed by our tongues. If the angeis spread their wings 
under the feet of these seekers of sacred sciences, they (the residents 
of Deoband) put the; hand of affection on their heads, made them forget 
their parents and made Deoband their home- li is that special thing 
(distinction) which no one from amongst the donors seems to share with 
them". a 

Maulanct Sayyid Manazir Ahsan Giloni, writing about the circum- 
stances of his student dcys, says :- 

"Looking to the respect ihe people of Deoband cherished in their hearts 
for the students ond the manifestations of this respect for cducaiicn 
lhaf were seen daily, one cannot say anything but this that these 
wonders were worked by the secret hints of that Merciful Lord Who 
keeps the hearts of mankind under His thumb- The common practice 
of the people of Deoband in those days was that they used to invite 
the studenls to orchards of plums, and sometimes also threw mango- 
parties." 3 

The religious sentiments of the people of Deoband and their extra- 
ordinary attachment with the Dar al-Ulum can be estimated from the fact 
that in A-H. 1285, when the reputation of the Dar al-Ulum had already 
reached many distant places in the country and the circle of its donors 
too had widened considerably, nearly half of its total yearly income 
had been donated by the Muslims of Deoband. The details are as 
under :— 

Total income for the year A. H, 1285* : Rs. 2190/- 

Conlribution from the Muslims of Deoband 5 : Rs. 638. As. 14, Ps. 3. 
The total number of contributors is 235, including 11- from Deoband. 

1. The report for A.H. 1284. 

(pp. 36-7) gives detail of arrangement for dining of 49 students by the people 
of Deoband and mentions at the end that "the students' expenses for the 
dhobie and the barber, etc. are aiso borne mostly by those people who have 
arranged for their board at their places", (pp. 36-7). 

2. Rudad-e Dar al-Ulum, A.H. 1290, p. 12, Farouqi Press, Delhi. 

3. Risala "Dar al-Ulum", Muharram, A.H, 1373, p. 37. 

4. 5 & 6. Rudad, A.H. 1285, pp. 68-9. 


Besides giving cash donations, the people of Deoband had also 
arranged for the feeding of 37 students. 1 In view of the cheapness pre- 
vailing in those dcys, if the monthly cost of food per head is estimated 
to be as low as Re. 1/- only, the cost of feeding 37 students for the 
whale year comes to Rs. 444/-, which, when added to Rs. 629/- of the 
donation, totals up to Rs. 1083, which is, as though, nearly half of thfe 
entire income for that year. 

The people of Deoband still continue to give the same treatment to 
the students. Quite a large number of students always reside in the 
mosques of the town and the arrangement for their dining is being done 
there as usual. 

The establishment of madrasahs seems an ordinary thing today, but 
if cne thinks about the conditions prevailing one hundred and twenty-five 
years ago, when there was no system of establishing such madrasahs nor 
the people were aware of this line of work nor had any model before them, 
it undoubtedly looks a wonderful achievement of these pious founders, the 
great pioneers of that era (may Allah have mercy on them !). 


1. Rudad A.H. 1285, pp. 68-9. 




It will be perhaps surprising to know that at the time of the establi- 
shment of the Dar al-Ulum, its founders v/ore not very advanced in life 
and stricken in years; they rather belonged to that period of age which 
is called "the heyday of youth" or "the flower of life". This example it 
very exemplary for the young; while it answers wells to the age old adage 
thct "greatness is reckoned by intellect, not by years", it also imparts 
the lesson that men of action, to begin any great work, do not wait for 
gray hairs and green aid ag~. Lofty ambition is not restricted by 
months and years- They first resolved to accomplish this work and then 
devoted all their abilities to it. In this holy group consisting of the six 
great ones of the Dar al-Ulum, the oldest was Hazrat Maulana Zulfiqar 
Ali- He alone was on the wrong side of forty whereas all the rest were 
in their early ihirties. The following table will certainly startle those 
who may have imagined them to be patriarchs, hoary and senile- 

S. No- 





Age in Zi- 
qa'dc, AH- 

for the Dar 



Maulana Zulfiqar Ali 



45 years 



" Fazl al-Rahman 



35 " 



" M Qasim Nonautavi 



34 " 



" M. Yaqub Nanautavi 



33 " 



Hap M- Abid 



32 " 



Rafi a!-Din 



30 " 


In Islam by knowledge is meant that knowledge which may have 
benefitted from prophethood and be useful for both, the aspects of man's 
life ; religious and secular, material and spiritual. From the Islamic point 
of view, the acquisition of knowledge is an obligation by discharging 
which a Mussulman can achieve worldly good and the other-worldly ab- 
solution. Accordingly, in view of the same ideal, the foundation of edu- 
cation in the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has been based on the reformation 


ot beliefs and actions. Knowledge-for-the-acquisitiorrot-posilion has never 
been its objects- History is a witness to it that wherever the Mus.irns haa 
happenea to reach in the worla, Their zest tot Knowleage haa spread a 
network ot schools and colleges everywhere. I here had oeen no no'able 
quarter ot an Isiamic habitation v/nich migni nave remained aevoid of their 
activities. The same was the condition or India, too. There was no epoch 
during the Muslim rule in India ot which the most distinctive peculiarity 
must not have been the dissemination of knowledge and learning. 
Every single nobleman among the Muslims used to infuse the spirit ot 
learning and accomplishment in every nook ana corner of the country by 
his lavish donations tor educational purposes- The Sultans and nobles 
used to consider the surpassing ot each other in showing liberality in edu- 
cational matters, patronising the ulema and the cherishing of the stu- 
dents, the cause ot pride and glorification and a means of solvation tor 
themselves in the Hereafter. But no sooner ihe sultanate went out of 
their hands than Ihe candle that had been shedding its light in India for 
the last six hundred years was suddenly put out, and the domination of 
the English over the country became complete; thus, along with the 
English government, their English culture, religion and western arts and 
sciences began to come into vogue- Since the English considered 1he 
Muslims to be responsible fo( the freedom-fight of 1857, they were espe- 
cially inimical to the Muslims. The English rulers had brought with them 
modern arts and sciences and hence in the new system of education that 
they started they introduced these in place of the old ones, and its con- 
sequence appeared in a new form. This period of the nineteenth cenlury 
of grace was a period of great upheaval for the Muslims. There was no as- 
pect of the Muslims' life which must not have been affected by the buffets 
of fierce and furious winds of opposition. The decline of the Mughal em- 
pire in India and the resulting anarchy had shaken, along with their 
political position, the very foundations of the Muslims' beliefs, thoughts 
and views. Hazrat Shah Wali Allah Dehelvi, in his books, has severely 
admonished the rulers of his time and the high and the low, and fore- 
warned them that they had reached the last extremity of decline and 
hence it was very necessary for them to avoid the path they were tread- 
ing- He writes in Tafhimat-e llahiyya :— 

"We have seen with our own eyes those credulous Muslims who have 
made the ulema their gods besides Allah and have made like the Jews 
and the Christians the graves of their saints the place of worship (lit, pro- 
stration). We have also seen such persons who make interpolations in 
the speech of the Legislator and ascribe this statement to the Holy Pro- 
phet (Allah's peace and blessings be on him !} that 'the virtuous people 
are for Allah and the sinners are for me'- This thing is just like what 


the Jews used to say : 'The fire (ut punishment) will not touch us save for 
a certain number of days (1 : 80). To tell the truth, today the practice 
of interpolation in religion is rampant in every group- If you look at the 
Sufis, they have on their tongues such statements which are not in con- 
formance with the Book and the Sunnah; particularly, in the proposition 
of Divine Unity, it seems, they are absolutely careless about the Shari'ah. 
If you cast a glance at the juris:onsults, you will find many such things 
in them the sources of which are simply untraceable- As for the rationa- 
lists, poets, the affluent and the hoi polloi, how far one may write about 
their interpolations". 1 

In snort, tlie conanions wt-ie going irom bad io worse day by day- 
me Muslims' miseraoie pngnt ana me englishmen's hostiiny and antago- 
nism againsr mem were corn on ine increase from day to day. When 
hazrat Snah Muhammad Isnaq Dehelvi did not find tne conditions re- 
turning to normalcy, he, at last, was constrained to emigrate to Mecca 
in li!i//1841. Then, when, in 1857 (A.H. 1274), the English got control 
over Delhi, hazrat Shah Abd al-Ghani, too, emigrated 10 Madina. Delhi 
which had been maintaining its reputation as the centre of arts and sci- 
ences for six hundred years lost its giory and the garden of the sci- 
ence of Hadith that Hazrat Shah Wali Allah had laid out in its last epoch 
willed under the simoom of vicissitude. During the revolution of 1357 
which the Britishers misnamed Mutiny, countless Muslim ulema lost their 
lives under the English reprisal- This revolution had brought along with 
it great destructions and misfortunes for the Muslims. Endowments 
which were as jugular veins to the educational institutions were confisca- 
ted during the English regime and the educational system which was hun- 
dreds of years old was ruined. A member of the British Parliament, Mr. 
(Edmund) Burk had stated in the memorandum that he had presented to 
the parliament that the places which were once alive with the talk of 
knowledge and where students came to study from far off places were 
now presenting the scene of a market of knowledge hit by slump. 

. The new system of education the English had brought with them was 
completely different from me previous one. (Sir) W. W. Hunter writes ;^ 

"In our system of education there is no provision for the religious 
instruction of the Muslim young men; it is rather absolutely against the 
interest of the Muslims". 2 

1. Talhimat-e llahiyya, Vol. ii, pp. 134-5 Pub. : Madina Press, Bijinore 1355/1936 

2. Vide Musalmao Ka Nizam-e Talim we Tarbiat. Vol. i, p. 392. (These may 
not be the actual words used by Sir Hunter because this is after all a trans- 
lation from the Urdu version of his text. Translator). 


The basic objective of this system of education brought in by the 
English was to conves-t the Indians, particularly the Muslims, to the Christian 
faith. Mjulana Fazl Haq Khairabadi who was in those days a secretary 
cr head-clerk (Mir-munshi) to the English resident in Delhi and who had 
been sentenced to transportation for life under the charge of the rebellion 
of 1857, writes in his book, Al-THaurat csl-Hlndiyyah, which he had com- 
posed during his incarceration in Andeman-Nicobar Islands, as under-.— 

The English prepared a scheme to christianize all the inhabitants, 
II was Iheir belief that the Indians would not be able to find any helper 
from anywhere and, therefore, having no other way but to submit and 
obey, they would nc! dare to defy them. The English were fully con- 
vinced that the rulers' variance from the ruled on the basis of religion 
would be a great stumbling block in the way to domination and posse- 
ssion- Hence they began to make use of all sorts of wiles and chicanery, 
with full devotion and assiduousness, in their wilful attempt to obliterate 
religion and the sense of nationhood. In order to teach and instil their 
language and religion they opened schools in towns and villages for 
educating small children and the ignorant, and made an all out effort to 
v/ipe out the old sciences and academic attainments"- 

In short, in the thirteenth century hijri, the Indian Muslims were 
facing very severe conditions; on the one hand, their educational system, 
along wilh their empire, had gone to wrack and ruin and, on the other, 
their beliefs and thoughts were doddering and nodding to their fall. 
Over and above this, the English government was determined to con- 
vert them to Christianity. The greatest merit of the educational system 
prevalent in India before the advent of the English was that, along with 
the teaching of religious sciences, it also used to prepare the students for 
the highest civil and military posts in the country, so much so that stu- 
dents educated in these institutions used to perform the duties of minis- 
tership and even rulership very successfully in an admirable manner and 
with competence, and only that man who used to be well-versed in the 
religious sciences was usually selected for the highest civil and adminis- 
trative post. As such, Sher Shah Suri (947/1540-952/1545) had also 
studied in the madrasah of Jaunpur. Sher Shah's regime, though brief, 
has been considered, as regards political and cultural improvements, a 
distinguished period in the history of India. Many constitutional reforms 
of Akbar's regime (963/1555-101 4/1 605) had in fact begun from Sher 
Shah's period itself. 

With the start of the new system of education the academic and prac- 
tical organisation of the Muslims had become disorganised and dispers- 


ed. From beliefs, ihoughis and views to action and behaviour, every 
aspect of their life had been affected. The enforcement of the new edu- 
cational system had closed the doors of the government services fcr the 
Muslims. Consequently the Muslims ihen had become prey to the seve- 
rest finenciol and economic;:! adversity. To cope with this grave situation 
it was necessary to start a movement on a large scale to fill up on the 
whole the frighlful cracks that hnd been created in the life of the Mus- 

The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is not only a religious teaching institution 
but fi aiso in fact an effective and active movement. This movement, 
cleansing the Muslims' beliefs and actions of all the rubbish and trashery, 
acquainted ihem with pure and unalloyed Islam, liberated them from 
polytheism and superstitions, end, removing fear and awe from their 
hearts, capacitated them politically to raise the prestige of the Muslims 
as a community by taking leading part in the freedom-movement. In 
matters educational, reformational and political, there is no aspect of life 
in which they must not have made a mark by their splendid services. 
The utility of this movement did not remain confined to the borders of 
this country only; rather the gamut of its influence widened and reached 
distant lends, and, thus, the Car al-Ulum, Deoband, became a revolutio- 
nary centre not only for the sub-continent but also for the whole of Asia. 

During the thirteenth century hijri the Indian Muslims faced two im- 
portant problems : one concerned their beliefs and practices and ihe 
other was of a political nature the objective of which was to deliver India 
from the imperial domination. It has already been mentioned above 
that, along with the decline of the Mughal empire in India, the values of 
Islamic life too had been impaired- Polytheism, heretical innovations, 
customs and usages had displaced the simple and natural principles of 
Islam. That pure belief of Divine Unity (monotheism) which is the very 
core, the very soul, of the Islamic belief had become languorous due to 
the incessant open and insidious inroads of polytheism and heresy- 
After Hazrat Shah Wali Allah, Hazrat Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed, Haz- 
rat Maulana Muhammad Isma'ii Shoheed, Hazrat Maulana Rasheed 
Ahmed Gangohi and Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi 
(may Allah have mercy on them !) preserved the Islamic spirit and made 
a successful effort to carry this movement forward. Hazrat Nanautavi 
pitched in to make a tremendous effort for the doctrinal and social re- 
formation- He strengthened the Islamic propositions with rational argu- 
ments, opposed ruinous customs and usages tooth and nail, and tried his 
level best for the re-marriage of widows, women's rights of inheritance 


and the eradication of social inequalities; and the fact is lhat his efforts 
affected every corner of India and a large number of Muslims. These 
were the circumstances in which the founders of the Dar al-Ulum made 
it necessary to establish religious schools for effectuating the varied ob- 
jectives of the Islamic beliefs, social customs, religious education and 
training, and political endeavour. In this connection the first to appear 
on the scene was the Dar-a!-Uium. Allah Most High blessed with appro- 
val the movement for the Dar al-Ulum, the people throughout the coun- 
try responded readily to its call, and the deep clouds of superstitions and 
evil customs, polytheism and heretical innovations with which the Indian 
atmosphere was overcast began to clear up gradually and the people 
began to act instead according to the commandments of the Book and 
the Sunnah- 

The aims and objects for which the Dar . -Ulum Deoband, was 
established have been detailed in its old basic constitution as follows :— 

1. To teach the Holy Quran, the Quranic exegesis, the Hadith, the Islamic 
beliefs and their dialectical interpretation, and all the necessary and 
useful allied subjects; to provide complete Islamic information to the 
Muslims; and to render service to Islam through spiritual instruction, 
guidance and preaching- 

2- To give training in Islamic actions and morals and to infuse the Isla- 
mic spirit in the lives of the students- 

3. To preach and disseminate Islam and to preserve and defend the 
religion; to propagate Islam through writing and speech; and to cul- 
tivate in the Muslims, through education and preaching the morals, 
actions and sentiments as those of "the best of decades" (khayr al- 
qarun) and the pious ancestors- 

4- To keep off and avoid the influences of the government and to main- 
tain the freedom of thought and knowledge. 

5. To establish Arabic schools at different places for the dissemination 
of the religious sciences and to affiliate them to the Dar al-Ulum- 

These are the objectives which have always been inherent in the 
Islamic traditions and history but at that time they were especially needed 
to be revived because in the latter half of the thirteenth century hijri 
hiatus andi void had been created in the Muslims' kn-wledge and action, 
thought and view, due to change in and deprivation of government and 


it fill up this chasm it was inevitable to adopt such means in the future 
whereby Islam, the Islamic sciences, and the islamic culture and society 
could be preserved. The ideal of the Dar al-Ulum consists in the revival 
and renewal of the same objectives. As regards the aims and objects of the 
Dar al-Ulum and the disorderiiness prevailing among the Muslims then, 
Hazraf Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi, in the function of prize- 
distribution held in A.H. 1301, had said : — 

"This madrasah was founded only for the revival of the religious 
sciences. It was that time when, after the mutiny, India had passed some 
time end observing the conditions prevalent then it seemed that religious 
knowledge was about to come to an end. Neither could any one read nor 
teach Big cities that were the centres of this circle were in ruins; the 
ulema distracted, books unavailable, tranquillity gone. If there was 
eagerness in any heart for knowledge and ambition to acquire it, where 
would one go and from whom would one learn it? And it so appeared 
that the ulema who were still alive would, in twenty, thirty years time, 
set off for their real homeland • Paradise; and then there would be none 
left to tell even this much how many items in the ablution (wuiu) are 
obligatory and what is indispensable (wajtb) in prayer. In such a 
state of perplexity, dejection and despair, Divine Grace became effusive, 
the ocean of Divine Mercy surged, the cloud of beneficence of infinite om- 
nipotence showered down heavily, and inclined His approved slaves to 
this work, and manifested the cloud of magnanimity in the foundation of 
the madrasah :— 

"The sprinkling of musk is the work of your tresses but lovers have ex- 
pediently laid the blame against the Chinese deer". 1 

The explanation of the ideal of the Dar al-Ulum, in the words of 
Hazrat Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, Vice-chancellor, Dar al-Ulum 
Deoband, is as follows :— 

First : Religiosity:— The Dar al-Ulum is the headspring of religious 
power and, from the alpha to the omega, it is committed to the consti- 
tution and law of Islam. This is the reason that every single individual 
here is a perfect specimen of Islam- 
Second : Freedom :-lt means that this Dar ol-Ulum is totally opposed 
to external slavery. Its system of education and training, its financial or- 
ganisation ant! ifs social organisation are wholly free This is the first 

1. Rudad-e Jalsa-e Dastarbandi, A.H. 1301, p. 1. 


university in the world to which the government offered aid repeatedly 
but it always declined to accept the aid of millions of rupees. 

Third : Simplicity & Love of Labour:— The meaning of this is that the 
scholars and graduates of the Dar al-Ulum are habituated to have a. 
rough time in the struggle for existence (lit., the crusade of life). 

Fourth : Conduct (High Morality) :— It means that the students here are 
the perfect specimen of that high conduct which they have imbibed from 
their elders. This conduct is entirely spiritual. 

Fifth : Academic and Educational Attachment :— This is a characterstic 

feature which an observing visitor to the Dar al-Ulum can perceive in the 
very first moments of his visit; it is a thing neither to be told nor is con- 
cerned with hearing. Every charocterstic of the Dar al-Ulum can be 
seen in the mirror of its life. This is the reason that students from every 
part of the world are present in the Dar al-Ulum; its teachers are the 
best teachers in the world and its servants are the incarnation of altruism 
and self-sacrifice. The Muslims trust these people and monetary helps 
are received for the Dar al-Ulum from every part of the world- 

The foundation of the Dar al-Ulum had been laid down by those 
divine doctors who were sincerity and selflessness incarnate. Their 
hearts and minds were restless for the splendid future of the Islamic 
brotherhood; they had devoted themselves completely to the propagation 
of the true faith and the spread of religious sciences. The Lord of the 
Worlds bestowed popularity en the Dar al-Ulum and its service, and the 
great religious, educational, moral and reformative services it has rendered 
in and outside the country can never be forgotten. Here were born 
thousands of scholars and sufis among whom there is a multitudinous crowd 
of the best traditionists, jurisconsults, wriiers and preachers as well as a 
long line of those who give spiritual instruction and guidance and teach 
the methods of self-purgation; rather there is a large number of such 
people also who have given incomparable sacrifices for the freedom of 
the country as well as the reformation of its inhabitants. 1 

1. Reproduced from Macfina, Bijnore, newspaper, dated January 9, 1946. 





The entry of the Arabic sciences into India in the second century 
hijri synchronizes with' the Islamic conquests. Here Multan received the 
honour of becoming the first city of knowledge; the ulema first bestowed 
the light of knowledge upon this land. Then, during the regime of the 
Ghaznavid Sultans, Lahore became the centre of knowledge. Thereafter, 
in the sevenlh century hijri, Delhi became the cradle of arts and sciences. 
Later on, with the learning and accomplishments of Delhi spread the 
masnad of knowledge in Jaunpur, which, in its turn, by the light of 
its knowledge, il!um : ned Lucknow, where the sun of knowledge shone so 
brightly that it mode every village of Purab (the eastern region of India) 
resplendent with the lights of learning. In the academic world, who is 
not aware of the educational activities in Bilgram, Sandeela, Gopamau, 
Khairabad, Bihar and Bengal? Shahiahan used to say in a proud tone:— 

"Purab is our Shiraz", 

Delhi was then enjoying the position of being the centre of Islamic 
arts and sciences and seekers of knowledge, therefore, used to set out for 
it from every nook and corner of the country to quench their thirst- Dur- 
ing the last flickering phase of the Mughal empire there arose from this 
land a nonpareil scholar like Hazrat Shah Wali Allah (1114/1702— 
1176/1762) from whose academic bounty most of the Asian countries are 
deriving benefits to this day. As many branches of the religious 
sciences as are extant in India today, particularly those of Tafsir 
(Quranic Exegesis) and Hadith, have all originated with Hazrat Shah Wali 
Allah; whatever zest for religious sciences is found in the sub-continent 
is due to the grace of the Wali Allahian family only. Maulana Ubayd 
Allah Sindhi has quoted the remark of a non-Indian scholar that 
"throughout my travels in the length and breadth of India I did not come 
across a single religious scholar who might not have been a disciple of 
Shah Wali Allah through his son Shah Abd al-Aziz (1159/1746—1239/ 
1 823)". t 

1 Sindhi, op. cit. supra, p. 82. 



In this period religious sciences had reached the brink of decline 
not only in India , but also in the whole Muslim world. Accordingly, the 
famed Egyptian scholar, Sayyid Rasheed Reza, has stated :- 

"If the attention of the Indian ulema had not been lavished on the 
science of Hadith in that period, then this science would have faded 
out of existence from the eastern countries, because, from the tenth 
to the beginning of the fourteenth century hijri, this science had 
reached the last stage of decay in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Hejaz" 1 

The condition of a neighbouring country of India, viz-, Afghanistan, 
itself, obtaining then and prevalent still, can be estimated from ihe follow- 
ing letter of Maulana Mansoor Ansari :— 

"The Islamic sciences in Afghanistan, particularly the sciences of the 
Quran and the Hadith, are in a state of extreme neglect and decline. 
Such apathy and indifference to the basic Islamic sciences in a Mus- 
lim country is a very shameful matter". 2 

When Delhi was devastated in the bloody revolution of 1857 and 
its political set-up was upset and overthrown, its academic centrality too 
came to an end, and the caravan of knowledge and learning was cons- 
trained to pack up its kit from there- The men of Allah of that time, 
particularly those august men who had themselves passed through this 
ordeal of blood and iron and had witnessed the corpses of Muslims bit- 
ing the dust and writhing in blood, were beset with this thought and 
anxiety as to where this caravan of knowledge and gnosis should be 
given an asylum and what ways and means should be adopted to take 
care of the faith and religion of the hapless and helpless Muslims of 
India. Call it what you may — luck and chance or divine destiny — that 
at that time the Chhatta Masjid 3 in Deoband became the centre of dis- 
cussions for this line of action. It is the very same mosque where Hujjat 

1. Reza, op. cit. supra, p. 4. 

2. Maulana Mansoor Ansari's (Emigrant to Afghanistan) latter to Maulana Qari 
Muhammad Tayyib of Deoband, dated 11th Safar, A.H. 1353. 

3. This mosque is situated to the west of the town and in the south-eastern 
corner of the Dar al-Ulum. It is a very simple but attractive specimen of the 
earliest style of Muslim architecture in India, built with small bricks but 
without mortar and plaster. This mosque has been the place of sojourn of 
many Shaikhs and men of- Allah and a source of graces. In the south-eastern 
corner of its courtyard a small historical pomegranate tree is still 
extant under the shadow of which the Dar al-Ulum < was auspiciously begun. 
The old cloisters of the mosque which were to its north and south have 
been replaced by new construction but the mosque is still in its pristine 


til-Islam, Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi used to stay during his 
visits to Deoband. He often visited Deoband because his father-in-law's 
house was situated in the mohalia (locality) Dewan 1 of this town. In 
Deoband he had also had very cordial relations with Maulana Zulfiqar 
All, Maulana Fazl al-Rahman and Haji Muhammad Abid. So, much of 
the time of these men of light and leading used to be spent in this 
thought and discussion. The author of the Sciwanh-e-Makhtutah 
writes :— 

"In those days Maulana Rafj al-Din and Haji Muhammad Abid (Allah's 
mercy be on them!) were staying in ihe Chhatta Mosque. On account 
of these august men Maulana too stayed in this mosque and developed 
very close friendship with both of ther 


The basic view-point that was settled at that time was that in order 
to keep the Muslims' religious consciousness awake and to organize them 
on a national scale the establishment of a religious and academic insti- 
tution was inevitable. In the light of this central thought Maulana 
Nanautavi and his confreres, Maulana Zulfiqur Ali, Maulana Fazl al-Rah- 
man and Haji Muhammad Abid, decided that now this seminary ought to 
be located at Deoband rather than at Delhi. 

It is needless to point out here that during the period ©f Islamic 
rule, endowments for the maintenance of seminaries used to be made by 
the government and rulers of states and nobles also used to patronise 
these schools munificently. But by the time the Dar al-Ulum came to 
be established, the candle of the Islamic rule that had been shedding light 
for nearly six hundred years had already gone out. The Islamic state 
had made the Muslim masses carefree from bearing the responsibility 
of educating their children. The main problem, therefore, was how to 
make arrangements for the children's education? 

While the English had perpetrated boundless acts of tyranny upon 
the Muslims for their fault - if fault it was - of endeavouring in the 
struggle for the independence of the country in 1274/1857, they had 
at the same time left no stone unturned to devastate and obliterate 
the Islamic arts and sciences and Muslim culture and civilization. 
Endowments had been confiscated with the result that the old founda- 
tion-schools had been almost closed. It was, therefore, necessary to 

1. This locality is situaied to the east of the mosque and now a major part of 
it has been included in the campus of the Dar al-Ulum the guest-house of 
the Dar ai-Ulum and the teachers' quarters have been built at this very place, 

2. Sawanh-e Qasimi, Vol. ii, pp. 231-2. 



adopt some other method instead of relying upon the old system of 
endowments. From Maulana Nanautavi's eightfold principles it becomes 
evident (details will soon follow) that this new method would be of 
public donation, neither contaminated by financial grants from the gov- 
ernment nor from the feudal landlords, so as to keep this institution 
unencumbered from the meddlesome influences of the state. 

■ ■ ' ' ■ 


In connection with ihe collection of donations the first person who 
took a practical action was Hazrat Haji Muhammad Abid. Haji Fazl 
Haq, in Maulana Nanautavi's Sowcinh-e Mskhiutah, giving details about 
ihe method adopted for donations by the Dor a'-Ulum, writes:— 

"One day, at the time of Ishraq (which is 20 minutes after sunrise), 
Haji Sayyid Muhammad Abid, making a wallet of a handkerchief and 
' putting three rupees in it from his own pocket, went all alone from 
the Chhatta Mosque to call upon (the late) Mauiavi Mehtab Ali. 1 
Mauiavi Sahib donated six rupees most cheerfully and also gave his 
blessings. Mauiavi Fazl a!-Rahman donated twelve rupees and this 
humble author, six. Rising up from there, he went to Mauiavi Zulfiqar 
Ali, who is, os Aiiah willeth, a patron of learning; he promptly gave 
twelve rupees. By a lucky chance, Mauiavi Sayyid Zulfiqar Ali Sani 
(II) Deobandi 2 was also present there; on his behalf too the former 
donated twelve rupees. Getting up from there this kingly dervish 
reached mohalla Abul Barakat. By this time two hundred rupees had 
been collected; by duskfall, three hundred. Then gradually it be- 

1,- Mauiavi Mehtab Ali (d, 1293/1876} was Maulana Zulfiqar Ali's elder brother. 
In the begining of the thirteenth century hijri, he was one of the main 
teachers in Deoband and used to teach Arabic in the madrasah 
that was ' run in the audiece-hall of a noble of Deoband. Shaikh 
Karamat Husain. Maulana Nanautavi's Arabic education had 

begun from this very madrasah. The first-ever donation for the establishment 
of the Dar al-Ulum was Haji Muhammad Abid's and the second was from 
Maulana Mehtab Ali. After the Dar ai-Ulum was established, he was made a 
member of its council and was also being appointed as its examiner. 
(Tarikh-e Deoband, 2nd ed.. pp. 231-2). 

2." Sayyid Zulfiqar Ali was an extra-assistant commissioner in the Punjab. Now-a 

• ,-->days the Islamia Higher Secondary High School is being run in a portion of 

, his magnificent mansion. His son, Mauiavi Mumtaz Ali, a renowned religious 

divine, had settled down at Lahore from where he used to publish a women's 

magazine entitled Tehzih-e Niswan. Maulana Mumtaz Ali was a prolific 

, writer, having a number of books to his credit. An important one among 

.. .these., is Al-Bayan fi MaqasicS a!-Quran, in four volumes, in which the Quranic 
topics have, been divided into different chanters. The famous Urdu littera- 
teur, Sayyid Imtiaz Ali Ta|. was his son. (Ibid., pp 332-3). 


came the talk of the town and took air, and It is well-known, the 
way it fructified. This thing happened on Friday, 2nd Zi-qa'da, 
A.H. 1232", 

A hundred years, rather a century ond a quarter, ago it was in- 
deed a very strange and novel thing to establish, on the basis of public 
donations, a teaching institution which would be free from the influences 
of the state; in view of the oncoming period of the masses, it was a 
great prevision. On the occasion of the Khilafat Movement when Mau- 
lana Muhammad Ali Jauhar visited the Dar al-Ulum and saw Maulana 
Nanautavi's eight principles, tears came to his eyes and he remarked : 
"What is the relation of ihese principles with reason? These are 
ihings lhat have sprung from the spring of pure inspiration (ilham) and 
gnosis. The conclusion we have reached after having stumbled along 
a hundred years, it is really amazing that these august men had arrived 
at so long ago".! 

Now that the large princely states have become an apparition, a 
memory of the past, and big feudal estates and holdings have come 
to an end, yet the fact of thousands of religious schools running 
successfully from Kashmir to Assam amply helps assess the usefulness 
of the system of public donations and the firmness of the foundation- 

Instead of the old system of state endowments, this new method 
of public donaiions proved very successful and rewarding. This was 
such a useful and permanent method for the establishment of religious 
schools and the dissemination of religious education that changed the 
progress of this education into a movement for public donations. As 
regards donation, it has been a decided principle of the Dar al-Ulum 
from its very inception that there shall be neither any fixed amount of 
donation nor any particuiarisation of any religion and community. The 
actual words of this particular clause about donation are as follows :'— 

"No particular amount of donation has been fixed nor is there any 
peculiarity of religion and community". 


Qctsim al-Ulum ("The Distributor of Sciences") Hazrat Maulana 
Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi (may his secret be sanctified!) (1248/1833 
— 1297/1879), who was the caravan-leader and the moving spirit of this 
educational movement, has rendered glorious and invaluable services to 


the Muslims of the sub-continent in the academic, educational, mission- 
ary, literary, political and social fields. In the constitution he has 
proposed for the establishment and sustaining of seminaries, he has em- 
phatically inculcated the need of adopting the same method of public 
donation in contrast So the previous system of the period of Islamic rule. 
In this constitution he has shown that the following principles should be 
the fundamentals for the establishment of seminaries:— 

(1) The first fundamental is that the functionaries of the madrasah, 
as far as possible, always have an eye to the augmentation of the 
donation. 'Make: an effort and also persuade others to do the same'. 
The well-wishers of the madrasah must always keep this thing in mind. 

(2) The well-wishers of the madrasah, as far as they can, should 
endeavour for the continuous supply of food to the students; rather, for 
increasing the number of students. 

(3) The counsellors of the madrasah should always bear in mind 
that the madrasah should acquire well-being and excellence, and no 
one should be unyielding in one's opinion- God forfend! if it comes to 
such a pass that the counsellors consider opposition to their own opinion 
and their subscribing to the opinions of others unpalatable, then the 
foundation of the madrasah will become shaky. In short, a counsel 
from the bottom of one's heart in season and, in its context, the ex- 
cellence of the madrasah must always be kept in mind. There should 
be no sticking to one's guns out of bigotry; hence it is necessary that the 
counsellors should on no account be hesitant in expressing their opinions, 
and the audience should always hear them with good faith; i.e., it 
should be remembered that if others' opinion is convincing, though it 
might be contrary to the opinion of some, it would be accepted with 
heart and soul. And for the same reason the Vice-chancellor (muhta- 
mim) also must necessarily seek the counsellors' advice in all important 
matters, whether they be the regular counsellors of the madrasah or any 
intelligent, knowledgeable visitor who may be a well-wisher of the 
madrasahs. Over and above this, it is also necessary that if the vice- 
chancellor due to some reason, does not chance to consult all the counse- 
llors but may have taken counsel from a proper quorum of them, one 
should not feel displeased for not being consulted. A counsellor, how- 
ever, can of course take exception if the vice-chancellor may not have 
consulted any one. 

(4) It is a very necessary thing that all the teachers be of the same 
humour (mashrab), and neither presumptuous like the other religious 


divines of the time nor be after insulting each other. God forbid! if 
such a turn comes to pass, this madrasah will be plunged into hot waters; 
it will be imperilled. 

(5) The fixed syllabus already prescribed or to be prescribed later 
through some other deliberation should always be completed; otherwise 
the madrasah will, firstly, not have good strength, and even if It does 
get good strength, it will be useless. 

(6) So long as there arc no regular means of income for this mad- 
rasah, it will go on like this, if it please Adah, provided we pin our 
faith in Him. But if some assured income is obtained, e.g., a fief or a 
commercial establishment or the promise of a staunch man of means, 
then it seems that this state of fear and hope which is the source of 
our appealing to Allah will slip off our fingers, divine succour will cease 
and mutual disputes will ensue among the functionaries. In short, a 
destitution of sorts should always, be kept in mind. 

(7) The participation of the government as also that of the affluent 
appears to be very harmful. 

(8) The donation of such people who can afford as much as they 
can and do not expect fame from it seems to cause more prosperity 
(baraka). On the whole, the donor's good faith appears to be the pro- 
vision for greater durability. 

Maulana Muhammad Tayyib Sahib has very apophthegmaticaliy 
elucidated these eight principles which hove been published in a separate 
pamphlet entitled Azadi-e Hind ka Ek Khamosh Rehnuma. 

In the first, second, sixth, seventh, and eighth clauses of this consti- 
tution, public donation has been specifically suggested as the substitute 
for endowments, and at the same time it has also been stressed that it is 
necessary to abstain from assured sources of income as otherwise hope 
and fear which are the real cause of appealing to Allah will be lost. 1 


The year 1283/1866 is that blessed and auspicious year for jhe 
Muslims of the sub-continent in which the renaissance of thefr religious, 
educational, communal and cultural life began in this old historical habi- 
tation. The inauguration of the Dar al-U!um took place on Thursday, 

1. For details vide Bani-e Dar ai-Ulum by Qari Tayyib Sahib. 


15th Muharram, A.H. 1283/ May j'u, 1866, in the open courtyard or ihe 
ola Uihatta Mosque, unuer a small pomegianaie tree, wirti utter simpli- 
city and wiihooi any customary ceremony, ranrare and osienranon. 
Maulana Mulian Mahmua Ueobanui' who was a high-ranking divine in 
knowledge and learning was appointed a teacher. One young sruaenr 
named Mahmud Hasan who was later to become Shaikh ai-Kind was 
that earliest pupil who opened the book before his teacher. It is a 
strange co-incidence that the name of both the teacher and the taught 
was Mahmud ("the praised one'). Material equipments necessary tor a 
school there .were none at the time, except, of course, ample faith in and 
reliance on the attention and grace ot the Lord of the heavens and the 
earth. Except the sentiments ot service to religion, sincerity and trust in 
Allah, these gentlemen were devoid of all sorts of means and resources. 
As such the inauguration of the school took place with such utter lack 
of equipments that there was neither a building nor a batch of students 
to begin with. Only one teacher end one student; this was all the stock- 
in-trade of the institution which was destined to become famous through- 
out the world as "Azhar-e Hind Dar al-Ulum, Deoband"! 

Though this inauguration was apparently very brief and on a very 
limited scale, unceremonious and unpublicised, it was in fact the incipi- 
ence of a new period of a great movement for religious education in India, 
which had been started with full deliberation and thought, as, is evidenc- 
ed by the glorious progress it made later on in the form of the Dar al- 
Ulum. The pious founders of the Dar al-Ulum kindled the torch of the 
Book of Allah for the survival and preservation of the religious and so- 
cial life of the community in the sub-continent and through Tafisir, Hadith, 
Fiqh, Islamic learning and literature, beliefs and actions, built such on 
invincible, strong citadel against the overcasting dangers of this dark age 
that it has played a very important role in savmg the Muslims from spi- 
ritual and academic collapse and discomfiture, the details of which will 
be presented in the succeeding pages. 


The announcement published by the elders of the Dar al-U'um on 
the occasion of its establishment is as follows :— 

"Praise be to Allah that a number of high-minded men having gather- 
ed in Deobond collected some donation and an Arabic madrasah was 

A resident of Deoband and an excellent scholar, he used to teach in Meerut 
from where Maulana Nanautavi appointed him on a monthly pay of Rs. 15/- 
and sent him to Deoband, writing Haji M. Abid to start tfip Madrasah without 
waiting for him and that he \"*o*j!d keep making efforts. 





started on 15th Muharram, A.H. 1283, and Maulano Muhammad Mah- 
mud was ror the present appointed on a salary of Rs. 15/- p.m. But 
since his merit is much more and the salary due to paucity ot -funds 
is meagre, it is the intention ot the managers of the madrasah, that 
with the conailion of realising a satisfactory amount of donations, of 
which they cherish a hope, to increase the Maulavi Sahib's salary and. 
appoint a teacher for Persian and mathematics also. Be it clear tp all 
the high-minded and the well-wishers of India, particularly to the Mus- 
lim residents of Deoband and its vicinage that the people who have 
not donated so far participate whole-heartedly and give sufficient help; 
and be it evident that, besides this list of donations the balance of 
which is Rs. 40— As 8, another donation has been collected ror the 
food and aid tor expenses of the outside students and such aid for six- 
teen students has accumulated, and, if it please Allah, more will be 
collected day by day. From this amount students from outside will 
receive cooked food and living quarters. The arrangement for books 
will be made subsequently. The names of the managers ore given 
below. The gentlemen who intend to send rupee-donation may send 
the same to them in unstamped covers the receipt for which will be 
sent on pad-paper. Finis." 

Haji Abid Husain, Maulavi Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, Maulavi 
Mehtab Ali, Maulavi Zulflqar Ali, Mauiana Fazl ai-Rahman, Munshi Fazl 
Haq, Shaikh Nihal Ahmed. 

Fazl Haq, 
Rector, Madrasah for Arabic, Persian & Mathematics. 

Town Deoband. 
Dated: "Monday, 19th Muharram al-Haram, A.H. 1283". 

These august men were not only members of the Consultative. Council 
{Ma]!is-e Shura) but they were also the first architects of the Dar al- 
Ulum. Amongst them Hazrat Nanautavi' (may his secret be sanctified) was 
the earliest patron and riaji Abid Husain (Allah's mercy be on him!) was 

the first vice-chancellor. 


The time of the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum was a period of 
great want of equipments; neither was there a suitabife place for teach- 


ing nor any arrangement for the students' residence. Nonetheless, even 
in this condition of indigence and lack of wherewithals there was free- 
dom from care and anxiety and a strange composure of mind prevailed 
in that state of distress. Accordingly, no sooner the Dar al-Ulum was 
founded than amazingly it began to step towards progress. Besides 
those who flocked from the surrounding areas, students began to pour 
in even from distant places and lands like Benares (Varanasi), the Punjab 
and Afghanistan, and within a short time this ordinary madrasah deve- 
loped into a residential teaching institution. It says in the report published 
at the end of the year as follows t— 

"Praise be to Allah that the year A.H. 1283 ended with safety. It 
is that auspicious year in which the Arabic Madrasah, Deoband, was esta- 
blished and in this short time it attained such splendour which was be- 
yond expectation. It was inconcievable in the inception that so many 
students would flock to it and the donation and expenditure would in- 
crease so much. Let alone the gathering of a few students, the people 
were diffident as to from where the students for learning Arabic would 
come. But by grace of Allah, no sooner did it start functioning than 
students flocked to it from the surrounding regions and far off places as 
if they were waiting for if to start. The students came not only from 
the villages of the Saharanpur district and the western districts but also 
from even the Punjab, Kabul (Afghanistan), Benares, etc., and since here 
there was complete satisfaction as regards food and residence, they remain- 
ed engaged in the acquisition of knowledge with perfect freedom from care 
and anxiety. Though this idea and intention of the residents of Deo- 
band is indubitably praiseworthy and commendable that they, notwith- 
standing their slender means, laid the foundation of this madrasah 
through sheer good intention and well-wishing for their compatriots and 
charging themselves with the responsibility of expenses, board, etc, 
of the outside students, maintained them with utmost respect; and those 
who joined in donating cash paid their donations for the year A.H, 1283 
in advance most willingly and sincerely and are paying the same most 
cheerfully for the next year also, and those from whom the donation has 
not been received so far are anxious day and night for its payment; our 
thanks are due to those people who do not reside in Deoband and still 
became donors by considering this work to be pure public weal and per- 
suaded others also towards it. Though this madrasah in. reality appears 
to be located at Deoband, its benefit reaches far and wide and hence 
help and suppon to this madrasah is incumbent upon all the Indians. 
It is therefore hoped that the gentlemen who take part in donating pay 
their mite for the year A.H. 1284 soon and, looking at the progress of 
the work and increase tin expenditure of the madrasah, think of increas- 


ing the donation, as far as possible; and also persuade theif friends and 
relaiives to join this good work. 

"Now to acquaint with the state of progress of the madrasah, the 
collection of donation and its expenditure, arrangement for studies, exa- 
mination and the annual prizes, its account is written briefly so the donors 
may be pleased and the audience may have inclination and be certain 
that the funds have been spent extremely honestly and economically. 
This year a sum of Rs. 649— As. 4 only was realised and out of this 
Rs. 393— As. 12— Ps. 3 was spent on the teachers' salaries and all other 
expenses, and Rs. 255— As. 7— Ps. 9 remained as balance at the end of 
Zil-hijja, A.H. 1233. The reason for this much baiance only is that the 
expense in the beginning was little, there being only one teacher and 
two assistant teachers, and thereafter teachers were added. Nowadays 
the monthly expense is approximately Rs. 50/- and the estimate for the 
year A.H. 1284 is not less than Rs. 700/-. 

"The number of students in Muharram, A.H. 1283 was 21 and at the 
end of Zil-hijja, A.H. 1283 it had risen to 7S out of whom 58 were 
outsiders, 52 of them receiving food from the people of Deoband and 6 
eating out of their own pocket". 

As regards the educational perfomance of this year it is reported as 
under r— 

"The performance and labour is indeed praiseworthy, which is the 
excellent result of the teachers' sound efforls, for the students who had 
entered the madrasah reading the Mizan now read the Kafia and some 
students of moderale aptitude are about to ccmplele their education. 

"It is incumbent upon us to thank Maulavi Muhammad Yaqub Nana- 
utovi and Maulavi Muhammad Mahmud, both teachers, for their labour 
and attention, for it was due to their attention that quite a bit of progress 
was made in number and ability during this short time; and other 
teachers, viz., Maulavi Muhammad Fazil, Maulavi Mir Baz Khan, Mau- 
lavi Fateh Muhammad and Hafiz Ahmed Hasan also performed their work 
with much enthusiasm. It is our intention to increase the teachers' pre- 
sent salaries, but this matter depends on increase in donation. So the 
donors may please keep in mind the fulfilment of this our desire. 

"In the month of Sha'ban, A.H, 1283, the accomplished scholar, Mau- 
lavi Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, in collaboration with Maulavi Mehtab 


Ali and Maulavi Zulfiqor AH, examined the students with great promp- 
titude and enthusiasm and the concluding function took place in the 
presence of most of the residents of Deoband and prize-books worth 
Rs. 27,/- were presented to the successful candidates at the examiners' 
suggestion and from their own pockets". 1 


At the inception of the teaching work, there was only one teacher, 
Maulavi Muhammad Mahmud, but in the course of the year as the num- 
ber of students increased, four more teachers, whose names have been 
stated above, were appointed as per requirement. Maulana Muhammad 
Yaqub Nanautavi, who had served as deputy inspector in the educational 
department at Ajmer, Benares, Saharanpur, etc., was entrusted with vice- 

The administration of the Dar al-Uium has been from its inception 
established on the basis of the principle of "and whose affairs are a 
matter of counsel" (XLII : 38). Accordingly, for administrative purposes, 
a body named Majlis-e Shura (Consultative Council)was established. The 
nomes of all the members of the Majlis-e Shura are mentioned in the an- 
nouncement which was published after the establishment of the Dar al- 
Uium, This original Majlis consisted of the following seven members 
whose names, in proper order, are as under :— 

Haji Abid Husain, Maulana Muhammad Qctsim Nanautavi, Maulana 
Mehtab Ali, Maulana Zulfiqar Aii, Maulana Fazl ai-Rahman, Mur.shi Fazl 
Haq, Shaikh Nihal Ahmed. 

Under the instruction of the Majlis-e Shura, Haji Abid Husain, who 
was also a member of of the said Majilis, was appointed as rector main- 

1. These particulars have been derived from the first three pages of the Rudad-e 
Sat-e Awwai, A.H. 1283. As for the historical facts about the Dar aMJIum, 
help has been taken from besides the annual reports, the unpublished official 
records in the Muhafiz Khana (Record Office). The report of the Dar al-Ulum 
which is published yearly consists of three parts. The first part consists of 
those important particulars and circumstances that obtained during that year; 
the second contains sn abstract of accounts of income and expenditure, list 
of donors, and details regarding the teachers and functionaries; and in the 
third are given the results of the annual examinations. 

The first part of the report has been fixed as the sources for yearly particulars 
and for the rest of the affairs extracts have been appended at the end from 
which details of income and expenditure for each year, expenses for new 
constructions and particulars about the number of teachers, employees and 
Students can be known. Wherever help has been taken from other sources, 
reference has been given to them. 


luin uu-ounis ot income and expenaiture und tor managing the educatio- 
nal arraus; arid ru aiscnarye ontciui woi ks, nan rail naq wus maau in* 


Muulana Muhammad (Jusim Nanauiuvi, Maulana Melitab Ali and 
maulana Zuliiqar An aaed as exammets in ihe annual examination held 
in ihe tusr year and /3 our oi 76 stuaenis took this examination. ine 
learned examiners, in meir report along with the results, expressed 1he 
ioiiowing impressions ;— 

"We examined in detail every time tor several days and, as far as 
possible, asked ditticult questions and assigned marks to each candi- 
date tor each of the books. On the whole, we found the condition of 
the madrasah to be praiseworthy: the teachers' efforts and the candi- 
dates' labour are well-proven from this examination". 


It was only the second year of the establishment of the Dar al-Uium 
when, suddenly, two such incidents befell it that it was apprehended 
that this lender plant might be wilted by them even before pullulating. 
The first incident was that of the malignancy of an epidemic that broke 
out in Deoband and affected several teachers and the taught, with the 
result that some of them went back to their native-places and the teach- 
ing-work came to a stop for nearly two months. But thanks to Allah 
that when the epidemic was over, the teachers and the taught made good 
this loss by their unusual labour and effort and the prescribed syllabus 
was completed. What is astonishing is that inspite of the severity of the 
epidemic there was an extraordinary increase in the number of outside 
students. The year before it was 78; this year it went up to 120. In 
comparison to the previous year the donation too increased twofold. In 
A.H. 1283 the total donation was Rs. 649/-; this year a sum of Rs. 1275/- 
was received. 

The second incident that has been interpreted as "a crucial matter 
and a critical occurrence" {lit., a great matter and a tremendous event) 
was this that Haji Muhammad Abid, ali of a sudden, made up his mind 
to go on pilgrimage (to Mecca). It is stated in the report that "this was 
such an earthquake that it would have been no wonder if the foundation 
of the madrasah had been uprooted, because, amongst the inhabitants 
of Deoband no one apparently looked worthy of this work. But since 


"Allah Himself is rhe Pu.veyor of Provisions for those who put their trust 
in. Him, some of the members (of the Majlis), who had perfect ability ond 
sincerity of intention, had an inspiration that Maulavi Rati' al-Din was 
very suitable for this work. Accordingly, in the beginning of Sha'ban. 
A.H. 1284, this work was charged to him and complete satisfaction was 
achieved as regards the management of the madrasah". 

Last year when the teachers were appointed, their salaries were very 
meagre; they had been promised that with the increase in income their 
salaries too would be increased, Since the income had increased this 
year, increments were given as per promise, Rs. 10/- was added to the 
vice-chancellor's pay, the second teacher's pay increased from Rs- 15/-to 
Rs. 20/-, and the assistant teacher's pay was made Rs. 6/- instead of 
Rs. 3/- p.m. ,- 


Last year arrangement could not be made for teaching the Holy 
Quran, Persian and mathematics and hence the local children, as there 
was no provision locally for primary education, could not take advantage 
of the Dar al-Ulum. To remove this difficulty a class for teaching the 
Holy Quran and another for Persian and mathematics were started and 
a teacher was appointed for each class on Rs. 5/- p.m. 

In view of this gradual progress of the Dar al-Ufum an accountant 
was also appointed the same year. 


Following in the footsteps of the Dar al-Ulum, it has been a pecu- 
liarity of the Muslim religious schools (seminaries) that education is al- 
together free in them, so much so that the burden of procuring text-books 
is also not thrown on the students. When the Dar al-Ulum was establi- 
shed, it had neither the required text-books nor sufficient funds to buy 
them. Hence it was so planned that books were borrowed temporarily, 
for a short term, from those educated gentlemen who owned such books 
and lived in the vicinity of Deoband. A long list of such obliging len- 
ders of books is given in the report for this year. In the following years 
when a reasonable stock of books had been collected in the Dar al- 
Ulum, the borrowed books were returned to their owners wilh thanks. 
Among the outside people who were good enough to procure books for 
the Dar al-Ulum, tho honour of precedence goes to Shaikh llahi Bakhsh 


Meeruthi, the residents of Danapur and Abd al-Rahman Khan, manager, 
Nizami Press, Kanpur. 


The educational progress of the Dar al-Ulum has been high, excell- 
ent and fruitful from the very inception. While it had passed only the 
second year of its life, such students had been prepared in it who could 
render educational services. Accordingly, a graduate (fazil) of the Dar 
al-Ulum, Maulavi Mir Baz Khan, was appoinied as a teacher in Madra- 
sah Mazahir-e Ulum, Saharanpur. It is stated in the report that as a 
result of the teachers' effort and labour this fact is especially worthy of 
mention that, notwithstanding the afore-said hindrances, the process of 
teaching and learning made progress. At present there are some such 
students in the madrasah who are nearing completion (of their educa- 
tion) and can teach Arabic and Persian very well. As such, as per the 
demand of the vice-chancellor of Madrasah Mazahir-e Ulum, Maulavi 
Mir Baz Khan was sent to Kanpur as a second teacher. 


This event is of particular importance in the affairs of the Dar al- 
Ulum that Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi (Allah's mercy be on him!) 
came to inspect the Dar al-Ulum. He inspected it, tested the students and 
wrote the following inspection-report r — 

"Today, on 30th Safar, A. H. 1285, this humble fellow visited the mad- 
rasah of Deoband. When I happened to inspect the madrasah and 
the teachers and the taught, 58 students of Arabic, besides those who 
are learning Persian and the Quran, were known from the chart, but, 
just now, only 48 students were present in the madrasah- Whatever 
little portions were heard in different classes, the sound efforts of the 
teachers and the labour and endeavour of students were found to be 
praiseworthy and commendable. If they continue to try like this, after 
finishing the Arabic lessons in a short time, they will be assuredly 
qualified to teach the religious sciences". 

At the end of the academic year a function for prize distribution was 
held in which people from the vicinity were invited to attend. Maulana 
Nanautavi awarded the prize-books to the successful candidates and 
the annual educational report was read out before the audience who 
looked at the performance of the Dar al-Ulum with approval and assured 
it of their help and support. 



Nearly six months after the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum, Mad- 
rasah Mazahir-e Ulum was opened at Saharanpur. This year semina- 
ries started at different p!aces. It is stated in the report:— 

"Many high-minded gentlemen, making efforts for the opening of schools 
iat other places also, started madrasahs at places like Delhi, Meerut, 
Khurja, Buland Shahar, Saharanpur, etc.; and proposals are afoot at 
places like Aligarh, etc. also for this good work". 1 


As in A.H. 1284, this year too the Dar al-Ulum had to face various 
difficulties. Malaria raged in an epidemic form and all, both the teachers 
and the taught, were in the grip of this dreadful fever, and the disease 
continued so long that there could be no teaching-work for five months 
at a stretch. At the same time the sympathisers of the Dar al-Ulum were 
also in distress due tq a country-wide famine. Most of the students and 
teachers, convulsed by shivering fits, ruffled and enfeebled, left for their 
respective native-places; but as soon as the spell of disease was over, the 
students returned and the syllabus was completed by the end' of the aca- 
demic year due to the untiring efforts and labour of the teachers. 


Change again took place in the vice-chancellorship this year. Maulana 
Rafi' al-Din went for hajj and Haji Muhammad Abid was again made 

vice-chancellor in his place. 

... '■-■ 


The effects of the previous year's fever and shivering fits and the 
famine lingered on till the end of this year. The number of students 
diminished to 87; the annual examination could not be held as usual in 
the month of Sha'ban due to illness. After the holy month of Ramazan, 
instead of giving new admissions, the previous year's courses were com- 
pleted. Labouring unusally day and night, the annual examination was 
held in the month of Zil-hijja. Despite the fact that the country was 
facing the hardships of famine and soaring prices, the balance of income, 
on the whole, remained fixed. 

1. Vide Ch. Ill for details. 



Compared to the previous year, the strength of students this year was 
higher but with this, the expense, as opposed to income, also increased. 
The number of students rose to 106. The number of different classes 
having increased, the need for a wider house was felt. It has already 
been mentioned in the foregone that initially the Dar al-Ulum had been 
established in the Chhatfa Mosque, which is an old, small building. 
When the strength of students rose up, the Dar al-Ulum was shifted to ano- 
ther mosque nearby called Qazi Masjid. This mosque was somewhat 
spacious but after sometime when this mosque too proved insufficient, 
a house was, rented' near it. On this occasion the elders of the Dar al- 
Ulum felt that now there was need of a spacious building for the Dar 
al-Ulum- Meanwhile the Jama Masjid of Deoband was under constru- 
ction. It was therefore decided to build cells and courtyards in the 
Jama Masjid fcr this purpose. Accordingly it was announced and an 
appeal was made for donations; consequently, when, in A.H. 1290, the 
Jama Masjid was completed, the Dar al-Ulum was shifted to it. 


Besides the management of the Dar al-Ulum, the construction-work 
of the Jama Masjid was also proceeding under Haji Sayyid Muhammad 
Abid's supervision. Both these works required sufficient time. Hence it 
was considered apt that the burden of work on Haji Sahib should be 
made light. So the vice-chancellorship of the Dar al-Ulum was again 
entrusted to Maulana Rafi' al-Din who had returned from pilgrimage, 
though supervision of important works was still kept with the Haji Sahib. 


For the first time after the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum, the 
successful candidates were awarded degrees (Sanads of competence). 
Although the nur.,ber of graduates who had completed their education 
during the five years, between A.H. 1285 to A.H. 1289, was 25, only 9 of 
them were present on this occasion of the convocation- Their names are 
as follows :— 

Maulana Ahmed Hasan Amrohi, Maulana Khali! Ahmed Anbathvi, 
. Maulana Fakhr al-Hasan Ganqohi, Maulana Abd Allah Anson Anbathvi, 
Maulana Fateh Muhammad Thanvi, Maulana Muhammad Fazil Phutti, 
Maulana Ahmed Hasan Deobandi, Qazi Jamal al-Din, Maulana Abd 
Allah Jalalabadi. 


Many of These gentlemen are counted arnony the illustrious ulema of 



Attracted by the fame of the method of teaching the Science of Hadith 
in the Dar a|-Uium, some such scholars also who were already graduates 
but wished to benefit from the teaching of Hadith in the Dar al-Ulum, took 
admission with the purpose of completing this course in Hadith. Their 
names are as follows : — 

Mauiavi Abd Allah Jaunpurt, Maulavi Salamat Allah Jaunpuri, Mau- 
lavi Mashuq Ali Jaunpuri, Maulavi Abd al-Rahim Ali Gan], Mautavi 
Barakat Allah Dehelvi. 

It is necessary to point out here that Jaunpur and Delhi both were such 
places which had been centres of knowledge and arts in the recent past 
and the signs of the virtuous remnants of the old ulema if traceable any- 
where were found at these places only. If therefore can be estimated 
from this what a respectable academic position the Dar al-Ulum had 
attained within a few years of its inception, and the fame of its glory had 
reached not only the surrounding regions but also to distant places and 
old academic centres. 



It has been stated above that when the Dar al-Ulum was established, 
It had no text-books to be given to the students. This shortcoming was 
resolved by borrowing books for a short term from the educated' onces of 
the vicinity, but at the same time an appeal was made to the compatriots 
to supply books. This appeal had the desired effect on the country. 
Owners of printing presses very generously offered their publications as 
gifts to the Dar al-Ulum, so much so that even Hindu owners of such 
presses very open-heartedly came forward to help the Dar al-Ulum with 
their books- Thanking this gesture in the report, it is stated :— 

"The counsellors of the Madrasah are very grateful to Munshi Nawal 
Kishore, proprietor of Matba-e Azam, Lucknow, who, as before, showed 
extreme liberality and magnanimously helped the madrasah with some 
useful books, the list of which is given herewith. Amongst these do- 
nated books is the volume of Qomoos which is an unrivalled book 
among the lexicons and Munshi Sahib has printed this book with utmost 
excellence and accuracy. There was no copy of this book in the Mad- 


rasah before this. This dictionary is a must for every teacher and stu- 
dent; it is indispensable for all. Haji Maula Bakhsh, besides donating 
Rs. 2'OQ/- for the studenis' expenses, gave Rs. 100/" more for buying 
books. M^ulavi Abd al-Rahman Khan, proprietor, Matba-e Nizami, 
Kanpur, donated the following books for distribution among the stu- 
dents ". 

These gifts proved very propitious, for thereafter books printed in the 
presses continued to come without break 1c the Dar al-Ulum, and this was 
the earliest specimen cf the glorious stock of textual and non-textual books 
that exists in the Dar al-Ulum today. However, the honour for stepping 
forward and be a model for others to follow fell to the lot of Abd al- 
Rahman Khan, proprietor of Mafba-e Nizami, Kanpur, and Munshi Nawal 
Kishore. As long as both these gentlemen were alive, they regularly 
kept sending copies of books printed at their presses to the Dar al-Ulum. 
Not only there is mention of the books gifted by them in the reports but 
ihey have also been thanked here and there, and it is stated in the 1 
report that "Munshi Nawal Kishore, proprietor of Chapakhana Azam, Luck- 
now, deserves to be thanked more in this respect, for, inspite of the dis- 
tance of travelling, he helped us with many useful books. 

It says in the report for the year AH, 1294:— 

"Our special thanks are due to Janab Munshi Nawal Kishore, proprie- 
tor of Oudh Akhbar, and Janab Rao.Amar Singh, proprietor of the news- 
paper, Scifeer-e Badhana, that despite the fact that both these gentlemen 
are Hindus, they send — applause and a hundred thousand applause over 
their generosity and favour — their precious newspapers free of charge 
to this Madrasah. All the counsellors of this Madrasah thank them from 
the bottom of their hearts and pray for the good of all of them that Allah 
Most High bestow progress constantly upon their newspapers and presses 
and mainlain their power and independence. It is hoped from these 
gentlemen for the future also that they keep obliging the Madrasah con- 
tinually with similar favours and consider all the people of this Madrasah 
their blessers and well j wishers". 


This year five students completed the prescribed course of studies and 
secured the degree. The Shaikh al-Hind was also one of these graduates. 
The convocation and the function for the distribution of prizes was held 
on Friday, 19th Zil-qa'da, A.H. 1290 in the Jama Masjid (where the Dar 
al-Ulum hod been shifted), attended by the well-wishers of the Dar al- 


Ulurn from different places. The notable persons who attended this func- 
tion v/ere as under :— 

Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi, Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nana- 
utavi; Qazi Muhammad Isma'il Mangalori; Maulavi Muhammad Hashim, 
proprietor, Maibn-e Hashimi, Meerut; Maulana Zulfiqar Ali, deputy 
inspector of schools, Sahatanpur; Hakim Zia al-Din Rampuri; Munshi 
Muhammad Siddiq, deputy superintendent, East Jamuna Canal; Mau- 
lana A^uhammad Mazhar, Madrasah Mazahir-e Ulum, Saharanpur; 
Khwaja Abul Hasan Dehelvi; Munshi Muhammad Hayat, manager, 
Najm al-Akhbar; etc. 

After the Friday prayer, Maulana Nanautavi delivered a very crucial 
and momentous address in which the ' necessity and significance of the 
establishment of the Dar aI-U!um and its curriculum have been discussed 
with great perspicaciousness and deep insight. Since the object of educa- 
tion of the Dar al-Ulum and the benefits of its curriculum have been spoken 
of in this lecture very comprehensively, some excerpts from it are quoted 
below :— 

"Some selfless well-wishers, in the name of Allah, laid the foundation 
of the Madrasah in this village, Deoband, and planned the means of 
welfare for the whole mankind, particularly the* Muslims. Accordingly, 
thanks to Allah, it attained splendour more than what had been ex- 
pected, and in imitation of this place madrasahs were established at 
variousplaces; and in this last era knowledge again came to be talked 
about even as a flickering, dying lamp recuperates. And thanks to 
Allah that hundreds of people, having flocked to this Madrasah, were 
benefitted from this glorious wealth, carrying away a share, more or 
less, as per their individual capacity. But all .those living far and 
near may be knowing that the foundation of this Madrasah was laid 
by the residents of Deoband; they are the pioneers among all in this 
respect. Although men from outside also participated in this good work, 
whatever is there, it is due to the people of Deoband only; and hence 
if it is said that as much recompense (ihavab) for this good work as will 
be received by all others the same amount of it will be received by the 
people of Deoband alone, it will be exactly in accordance with the pro- 
phetic statement (Allah's peace and blessings be on him') :— 

'There are rewards on the Day of .Judgement for those who do good 
works and also for those who do likewise'. 
Indeed the people of Deoband have accomplished a work that will be 
a memento from them on the page of time; this well-known Madrasah 


will be the cause of commemoration for the residents of Deoband. 
Since most other madrasahs have been or are modelled after this Mad- 
rasah, it is possible that some of them might attain progress, but, in 
the eyes of the intelligentsia, it will be only a reflection of Deoband. 
And, if one looks at the strailened circumstances and ths wretched 
means of employment of the Deobandians, • this singular act of 
their generosity is in no way inferior to those works which ruling mo- 
narchs have done for the public weal. Notwithstanding all this, the 
sympathy displayed by the inhabitants of this place in the supply of 
food to the students is simply beyond the power of tongues to appre- 
ciate- If the angels spread their wings beneath the feet of the seekers 
of knowledge, ihese people put (he hand of affection on their heads, 
made them forget their parents and transformed Deoband into their 
hcme-town. It is, such a special thing in which none from amongst the 
donors appears to be iheir partner and sharer. May the Beneficent 
Lord, in compensation thereof, bestow full reward upon .the inhabitants of 
this place in both the worlds!. In fine, a whole world is benefitting from 
this undying wealth through the good offices of the people of- Deoband. 
Some studenis of India who, through zest for knowledge, used to study 
in Mecca, hearing the fame of the Madrasah of Deoband, reached it 
facing many hardships. 

"For the education of all the regional and traditional sciences end to ac- 
quire competency therein, this Madrasah and the madrasah at Saharan- 
pur, are no doubt excelleni provisions, and if it please Allah, the alu- 
mni here, provided they complete the curriculum, can easily acquire the 
remaining ancient and modern sciences by dint of the power of their 
aptitude. The reason for this is that in these madrasahs, besides the 
religious education which is the greatest objective for the power of ap- 
Jitode to attain, we did not rest content with religious sciences only but 
subjects that develop intelligence have also been provided as per the 
old system, an excellent result of which in the former times was that 
great savants and polymaths of prodigious capacity abounded among 
the followers of Islam. Hence we understand this thing with certainty 
that though the students here may not have succeeded with some of 
the modern arts and sciences, this ability of theirs may be .sufficient like 
a perfect teacher for their education. In other schools though, due to 
a variety of some modern subjects, the students ■ thereof may have 
acquired some new acquaintance in those subjects which the students 
here may be lacking, the latter In fact, in the eyes of the just, would 
be considered by virtue of their power affability, superior to the former 
in these subjects also. Notwithstanding all this, if, supposing that due 
to lack of practice, in some of the modern subjects some loss is con- 


ceivable, then due to want of academic ability and absence of the 
knowledge of religious sciences, the students of those schools ought to 
be considered inferior to the students of this Madrasah. 

"Now we also point out this thing so that it may be known that in res- 
pect of acquirement why this specia! method was proposed and why, ihe 
modern subjects were not included (in the curriculum). The main 
reason, infer alia, for this is that whether training be general 01 special, 
that aspect should be borne in mind from which crack may have deve- 
loped in accomplishment and attention be directed to it. So, it is open 
to men of intelligence that nowadays education, in modern subjects is 
making such progress due to the outnumbering government-run-schools 
that the old subjects must not have achieved such progress even during 
the regime of the old rulers. Of course, the traditional sciences de- 
clined, so much so that such decline must never have occurred in any 
establishment. In such circumstances the people considered it an exer- 
cise in futility to found schools for the modern sciences, and hence it 
was considered advisable to spend for the traditional sciences, as also 
for those disciplines which certainly develop ability for the current 
sciences as well, as for the modem sciences. 

"Secondly, the simultaneous acquisition of numerous sciences is detri- 
mental to ability in respect of all the sciences. Yes, after acquiring the aits 
of intelligence which have been prescribed especially for ihe develop- 
ment of ability, if the old and modern arts too are acquired, the span of 
time for their acquirement will, of course, remain equal. The objective will 
be achieved well enough through 'his antecedence and subsequence, 
as also ability in each science, and hence the reason-developing scien- 
ces were also introduced along with the traditional sciences in the 
curriculum. If the students of this Madrasah subsequently enter govern- 
ment schools to study the modern subjects, this study would more shore 
up their accomplishment. Would that the government of India too abo- 
lish the age-limit for new students in the interest of the public weal, 
and ft may also know what true ability is. In short, this madrasah is 
a store-house of good and a treasure-house of knowledge, urbanity and 
ability, and through it the Lord Glorious has shown this day that some 
students, by receiving education here, acquired perfect competence and, 
developing reasonable acquaintance in every art and appropriate abi- 
lity in every science distinguished themselves amongst their contempo- 
raries and coevals". 

About the accounts of the Dar al-Ulum Maulana Nanautavi said :— 
"The account of the Madrasah of the last eight years is as clean as 


a mirror, Anyone is allowed to come and satisfy oneself; and by this 
coming ihey should consider us obliged and grateful, for it is the cause of 
our acquittal, the progress of the Madrasah and the welfare of the follow- 
ers of Islam. Moreover, we also know thai thereby the liberal people 
of Deobanc'i who have helped the institution with monay or food, as also 
the names of other participants, may become famous and men of wis- 
dom and perception may know why this institution has been founded. 
Brethren! The people who are making efforts in favour of this Madrasah 
have no axe to grind ( so that one might entertain any suspicion. Well, 
you can, however, say that in your welfare lies our object also". 

The "tuibcin of proficiency" Cc'ostar-e fazilaf) was wound around 
the heads of the following graduates at this function :— 

Maulana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi, Maulana Abd al-Haq Pur Qazwi, 
Maulana Fakhr al-Hasan Gangohi, Maulana Fateh Muhammad Thanvi, 
and Maulana Abd Allah Jaialabadi. 


It was still the ninth year of the age of the Dar a!-U!um when the 
report of its reputation and glory had reached from India to the Islamic 
countries. -It can be estimated from the fact that an esteemed news- 
paper of Constantinople, Al-Jawa'ib, began to come fo the Dar al-U!um 
gratis. It was a valuable paper of the Muslim world. 


At the end of the last academic year the administrators of the 
Madrasah at Thana Bhavan made an application to grant affiliation to 
their madrasah with the Dar al-Utum. It is stated in the report :— 

"An Arabic madrasah, through the efforts of the followers of Islam, is 
running since long in Thana Bhavan, Dist. Muzaffarnagar, whose 
manager Munshi Abd al-Razzaq and Maulavi Fateh Muhammad 
(head-master) are of the opinion that this madrasah be made a 'branch 
of the Arabic Madrasah, Deoband; and the arrangement of its courses 
and the supervision of its income and expenditure be done through 
the Vice-chancellor of the Deoband Madrasah. Hence, as par con- 
sultation, it appeared laudable to grant affiliation to this madrasah 
of Thana Bhavan as a branch cf this Madrasah. Accordingly, from 
Muhetrrarn,, A.H. !2°1, its administration was 3ntrusted fa the V,C. cf 
this Madrasah"''- 


Further on this mode made much progress and now many Arabic macl 
rasahs in ihe country have, as per regulation, affiliation with the Dar 



5haikh al-Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan whose education had begun 
with the inauguration of the Dcr al-Ulum in A.H- 1233 had completed Its 
courses of study in A.H.' 1290. In the second year of the completion 
of his studies, i.e., in A.H. 1291, the Majtis-e Shura appointed him as 
an assistant teacher. Initially this appointment was honorary - without 
salary. But the very next year he was made the fourth teacher, and then, 
after some time, he was promoted to the head-master's post— datails of 
which will be given shortly. 


It has already been mentioned above^that the accommodation in, the 
Chhatta Mosque being inadequate, the madrasah had been shifted to Oazi 
Masjid and after some time when that place also proved! insufficient, cells 
and courtyards were constructed according to the old style of madrasahs 
in the Jama Masjid to which the Dar a!-Ulum had been shifted in A.H. 
1290. But before long this place too proved inadequate! due to the day- 
to-day progress of the Dar al-Ulum and so, at Mauiana Nanautavi's sugges- 
tion, the Majlis-e Shura decided to build a vast and spacious building for 
the Dar al-Ulum outside the habitation. On 19th Zil-qa'da, A.H. 1291, on 
the occasion of ihe prize-distribution function, this proposal was made 
which the audience approved and declared necessary and immediately 
fund-collection started. As such, a plot of land in the north-west of the 
town was bought. This land, though adjacent to the Chhatta Mosque 
and near the town, was such that there was scope for the growth and 
expansion of the Dar al-Ulum. It is stated in the report :— 

"Thank Allah that, like other supports from on high, for this longstand- 
ing desire too for which hope was being cherished for years, help from 
the Unseen surged and divine mercy graced our condition. That is, 
according to the opinion of the members of the Majlis-e Shura, it was 
settled that a spacious building for teaching, residence and other needs 
of the students should be built. As such, on Friday, 19th Zil-qa'da, 
A.H. 1291, in the midst of the function held for distributing prizes to 
the students, cm appeal was made for this, and many large-hearted 
people then ond there prepared a list of donations, mentioning names 
of many high-minded persons. Signatures are put continuously on the 
list of donations whereby a lot of money is being realised regularly. 
Accordingly, a very large plot of land was bought for the buildings. 


Now the liberality of the high-spirited men is required so that with the 
collection of money the construction-work may be started in right ear- 
nest and this "perennial charity" (sadqa-e jariah) of yours may conti- 
nue. Let no one look at more or less; many a pickle makes a mickle. 
Attention and magnanimity is the condition; if your magnanimity is 
there, this work, by Allah's grace, will be accomplished very easily" 
The time when the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, was established oniy nine 
years had passed over the fight tor freedom of A. 0. 1357. Since the 
common Muslims and the elders ot the Dar ai-USum had taken up arms 
and ranked against the English in this fight for freedom, the English go- 
vernment was very much anfagonislic to the Muslims, suspicious of and 
ill-disposed towards them. The Muslims' activities and movements were 
being kept under strict surveiiiance. On this account a series of investi- 
gations, secret and open, in respect of the Dar al-Ulum, continued for a 
long time. As such, in 1291/1875, the governor of Uitar Pradesh (formerly, 
the United Provinces), Sir John Strachey, sent a trusted man of his, 
John Palmer, to visit, the Dar al-Ulum with the purpose -of making secret 
investigations and report about the objective behind the establishment of 
the Dar al-Ulum and about the thought and activity the Muslims ulema 
were engaged in under the cover of this 1 institution. The report that John Pal- 
mer prepared and the impressions that he gathered, he has described in da- 
tail in a letter that he wrote to a friend. The interesting and scholarly 
manner in which John Palmer has expressed his observations and impre- 
ssions, comparing the educational condition of the Dar al-Ulum with the 
English universities, helps a good deal in understanding the educational 
position of the Dar al-Ulum. This inciden; occured during the incipience 
of the existence of the Dar ai-Uium. it can be estimated from this as to 
what the educational standard of the Dar al-Ulum has been from the 
very beginning. While this letter consists of details of the Dar al-Ulum's 
educational and some other particulars as well as review and criticism, 
it also brings forth an interesting album of the Dar al-Ulum's features 
and its educational peculiarities, based on very profound impressions 
from the pen of a man, who had had an adverse view-point. Hence it 
seems apt that the whole text of the letter is reproduced here. 
John Palmer writes 1 :— 

In a tour with the U Governor of the western and the northern provin- 
ces I happened to stay at Deoband on January 30, 1875. The governor 

1. This is a translation from the Urdu version of John Palmer's lette7."' _ A7TIpy _ " 
he might have known Urdu and Persian well. Unfortunately the compiler of 
this history. Maulana S. M. Rizwi, died of hear! failure on 25th March. 1979, 
otherwise he could have supplied the original English text, if there Was any'. 



told me : "Tht Muslims here, at Deoband, have started a madrasah against 
the government. Go there incognito and find out what is taughl there 
and what the Muslims are after". Accordingly, on Sunday, 31st 
January, I reached the habitation. The village is quite clean, the inha- 
bitants are courteous and pious but are poor and miserable. Making en- 
quiries, I reached the madrasah. Having reached there, I saw a large 
room in which boys were sitting on a palm-mat with books open before 
them, and an older boy was sitting in their midst. I asked the boys who 
their teacher was. One boy pointed out and then 1 came to know that 
the fellow sitting in the -middle was himself the teacher 1 . 1 wondered what 
kind of teacher he might be. I asked him, "What do your boys read"? 
"Persian is taught here", he replied. When 1 proceeded from here, a 
man of medium height but very handsome was sitting at one place, 
with a row of older boys before him. Approaching near 1 heard that the 
science of triangle was being discussed. It was my guess that consider- 
ing me to be a stranger they would be started, but no one paid any 
attention to me at all. I went near, sat down and began to hear the 
teacher's lecture. My astonishment knew no bounds when I saw that 
such strange and difficult theorems of the science of triangles were being 
expounded that I had never heard even from Dr. Sprenger. Rising from 
there when I went to a courtyart, I saw that students, wearing ordinary 
ciothes, were sitting before a maulavi. Here the variants of the second 
figure of the sixth article of Euclid were being stated and the maulavi was 
speaking off-hand in such a. way that ii 1 appeared as though Euclid's soul 
had entered his body. 2 I was agape with wonder. Meanwhile the mau- 
lavi sahib asked the students such a difficult question on the first grade 
of equation from Todd M'..T/~r's Algebra that I was in a sweat at my own 
knowledge of mathematics and I was astounded. Some students solved 
it correctly. From here I reached a third courtyard. One maulavi 3 was 
teaching! a thick tome of Hadith and was all smiles while lecturing. Clim- 

1. He was Maulana Munfi'at Ali Deobandi, teacher of Persian, who had been 
appointed the same year (A.H. 1291) after the completion of his education. 
Initially he served as Persian teacher and after some years was made Arabic 
teacher in which capacity he served the Dar al-Ulum till 1318/1900. 

2. He was Maulana Sayyid Ahmed Dehelvi who was appointed second teacher 
in A. H. 1285 and was made Vjce-Chancellor on Maulana Muhammad Yaqub 
Nanautavi's demise in A. H. 1302. He continued on this post till A. H. 1307. 
He was a matchless scholar of the time in mathematical sciences. Maulana 
Muhammad Qasim Nanairtavi remarks : "The Beneficent Lord has endowed 
Maulavi Sayyid Ahmed with such ability in and affinity with the mathematical 
arts that the inventors of these sciences too perhaps had had this much only." 
(Report for A. H. 1293, p. 13). 

3 This is a reference probably to Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanairtavi, the 
vice-chancellor. From the very inception hs had been appointed to the 
'.Ms post. Sa'/yld Mafibcob. piztf 


bing a stair-case from here, I reached the 1st floor. There were elegant 
houses on its three sides and in the centre was a small courtyard in which 
two blind men were chattering, in order to hear what they were saying 
when I went near stealthly. 1 came to know that ihey were committing 
to memory some lesson from a book or astronomy. Meanwhile one^lind 
man said 1o the other : "Brother ! In yesterday's lesson I could nor under- 
stand the bridal figure properly. If you have understood it, please, ex- 
plain it to me". The other fellow first stated the claim and then proceed- 
ed to prove it by drawing lines on his palm,- and when their mutual dis- 
cussion was going on, I was wondering, bringing , before my eyes the 
scene of Principal Breggar's lecture. Getting up from there i went to a 
5-doored room. Small children sitting very respectfully before the tea- 
cher were reading books of grammar. In Class III a traditional science 
was being taught. 

I came down by another stair-case. I was under ihe impression 
that the madrasah was only this much. By chance I met a man and 
sought confirmation of »iy impression from him. He said: :'No The 
Holy Quran is taught at another plops". When I asked him where, 
he took me to the mosque. In the courtyard of the mosque many 
small children were reading the Quran before a sightless hafiz. 1 The 
hafiz caught hold of a small child and thrashed him mercilessly. The 
child shrieked. I told my guide that it was an oppression to exact 
such hard work from smail children. He laughed and said : "Apparently 
it is an oppression but in fact it is affection. To habituate children 
from the very beginning with hard work is the very essence of 
wisdom and in their interest and is very much needed to overcome the 
hardships to be encountered in future life. Nowadays only this thing 
of courage and toil has remained among the Muslims and it is because 
of this that some shattered pieces of islam still remain with them". 

I said that last year I had seen in newspaper 1 that four students 
had been awarded "the turban of proficiency". Is any one of them 
present here"? "Yes", he said, "there is one; come along with me and 
I will introduce you to him". He took me to a house where a young man 

1. That is. Hafiz Namdar Khan, a resident of Basai, Dist. Muzaffarnagar. In the 
second year of the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum, when the Quran class 
was started in 1284/1867. he was appointed its teacher, and, for nearly 55 
yearn, till 1339/1920, he taught this class, and produced a vast circle of hafizes, 
including several teachers of the Par al-Ulum. 

2. This was the earliest stage ot the life of the Dar al-Ulum but it seems from 
John Palmer's sentence that the conditions and particulars of the Dar al-Ulum 
mi&te published promlhehtly in 'he neWS^ftfjfers, which means that s w sn ' in 
those incipient days the Dar al-Ulu™ was dsamed tc have achieved a centra! 
and distinguished position, 


was sitting. A thick book was lying before him and ten to tweive 
students were sitting and reading. Two guns were also lying on one 
side. I saluted him and he responded with utmost courtesy. 1 asked 
him, "Was the turban of proficiency tied on your head last year"? 
"It is", he replied, "my teachers' favour". "Whai's this book"? I asked him 
"It is", he said, "a technical book in the Arabic language. The 
manager of a press has sent it for translation. Its remuneration has 
been settled at Rs. 1000 -. I have been iranslaling it for three months 
and nearly three-fourth of it is finished. The remaining, if it please Allah, 
will be completed in a month". "How are these guns here"? I asked. 
He said : "I am fond of hunting. From seven to ten I teach, from eleven 
to one I go ahunting and from two 10 five I translate". I asked : "Why 
don't you take up some service"? He said : "God gives me Rs 250/- p.m. 
while I sit at home. Why should I then serve"? 1 

Rising up from here I came to the library. The librarian, wel- 
coming me, showed me the catalogue of books. I was amazed. There 
was no subject on which a book was not there. He showed me another 
register. It was a muster-roll for the students and was written in a very 
neat hand. Out of ihe 210 students on the roll, 208 v/ere present. 

I was about to get up when a young man with an incipient beard 
came and, having saluted, sat dawn. I asked him who he was. He 
said : "I am the vice-chancellor". 2 Then he placed ihree large registers 
before me and said : "Please see it; I His is the account of incomo and 
expenditure for the whole year"- 

I saw that the account was written date-wise with extreme sound- 
ness. From the abstract I learnt that at the end of the last academic 
year some money had remained in balance after the expenses. 

I wished to have a look at the books but the time was short and 
evening was about to set in. I was obliged to return. 

The results of my investigations are that the people of this place 
are educated, wel-behaved and very gentle; There is no necessary 

Most probably he was Shaikh al-Hind. He had completed his studies in 
1290/1874 and had been appointed as teacher without pay in A.H. 1291. 
Among those who graduated in A.H. 1290, Shaikh al Hind alone was an in- 
habitant of Deoband. And he was very found of hunting also. It is regrettable 
that the book under translation referred to by John Palmer couid not be traced. 
That is, Maulana Rati al-Din, vice-chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum from 1284/1067 
to 1286/1869 and again from 1288/1371 to 1306/1888. 


subject which is not faught here. The work that is being done in big 
colleges a* the expense of thousands of rupees is being clone here by 
a Maulavi for forty rupees. There cannot be a better teaching insti- 
tution than this for the Musiims and I can even go to the extent of 
saying that it even a non-Muslim takes education here, it will not be 
without benefit. I had heard about ihe existence of a school for the 
blind in England, but here ! saw with mine own eyes two blind men 
prove mathematical figures on their palms in the way it should be! 
I* regret that Sir William Muir is not present today otherwise he would 
have inspected this madrasah with great zest and eagerness and would 
have given prizes to the students". 1 


This is the year in which the Dar al-Ulum, having turned the 
earlier corners, hod entered the tenth year of its life. The following 
summary of the particulars and results of the last ten years have been 
given in this year's report : 

"Although the account of income and expenditure, from the date 
of the starting of this madrasah todate, is being written very scrupulously 
the fullest details and explanation — as such, most of the donors have 
scrutinised it themselves — and briefly the annual account, mentioned in 
the remarks-column, are published at the end of every year and there is 
no amount that may not have been mentioned therein, any donor or well- 
wisher of the madrasah, if he wishes to do so, can scrutinise the account of 
the madrasah, for which the humble vice-chancellor feels extremely thank- 
ful to him and also requests all the followers of Islam that whenever they 
happen to come to Deoband they may audit the accounts of this madrasah 
in detail and datewise and thereby oblige this humble self. Now it came 
into my humble mind that because some well-wishers of the madrasah 
who have been inclined towards it recently and do not know the condi- 
tion of income and expenditure of the madrasah from the start, 1 give 
below to inform them two abstracts for ten years from which the total 
income and expenditure of every kind, right from the start of the madrasah 
upto the end of A. H. 1292, can be known clearly. The well-wishers of 
the madrasah may please ponder as to how carefully and economically the 
fund is spent and with this little expense how great works are accompli- 
shed as they should be. And somewhat briefly the account of the results of 
education is also stated that in the course of these ten years ten students 

1- John Palmer's letter included in the report for the year A.H. 1304 entitled 


who completed the study of all the (prescribed) arts and sciences were 
awarded the turbans of proficiency at a general funclion, and fifteen such 
students who could not finish ihe study of one or two books, and, because 
the world did not vouchsafe fhem more leisure, they had of necessity to 
leave ihe madrasah, were awarded sanads for having acquired the know- 
ledge of the prescribed subjects as though they too were as good as gradu- 
ates. Thus, in all, 25 students became full-fledged dims (divine scholars). 
The average comes to 2 1 /2 per annum. Besides 1hem the number of those 
who studied more or less and dropped out is beyond compute. Although 
the result gained so far is very excellent and high class, if it please Allah, 
much more than this is expected in the future. And this thing also de- 
serves to be mentioned lhaf in this madrasah at present there is no su:h 
student who may have entered it with the starting of the madrasah or 
near about and may still be lingering here. That is, those who entered 
in the beginning have all become graduates". 


A usual practice : of the Dor al-Ulum in the inception was that when- 
ever a sTudent completed his education, he was tested in a gathering and 
On his success the turban of proficiency was wrapped around his head at 
the hands of some great divine. Accordingly, this year, on Friday, 2nd Zil- 
hijp, a big function was held at the Jama Masjid. This function was the 
first of its kind in the history of the Dar al-Ulum. Every lane and street 
in Deoband was echoing with the words Qctl Allah (said Allah) and Qal 
ctl-Rasul (Said the Prophet); everywhere there was talk of Tafsir and 
Hadith. An enclosure of bamboos had been constructed for students in 
the courtyard of the Jama Masjid. The mosque was full of prayers 
(namazis). After the Friday prayer an effective writing of Maulana Mu- 
hammad Qasim Nanautavi (may his secret be sanctified!) was read out 
by Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi in which, stating the reason 
for the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum, had been said :— 

"In this last era, because no sympathiser of Islam remained over the 
heads of the followers of Islam, this knowledge, particularly from this 
country, vanished completely; all the provisions of this knowledge were 
lost. Firstly, the common rich and the poor were in such distress as 
regards livelihood that they had no leisure to acquire this knowledge; 
for the rich engrossment in their riches was enough and »o the poor the 
anxiety for a nighl's bread was painful. Despite all this if someone 
mustered some courage, there was no fixed abode where there 
would be the tray as well as the lesson. Hence a!! the decline that 
came, came upon this knowledge only". 




Then, furthermore, as regards the non-inclusion of the secular sciences 
in the curriculum, he said :— 

"If this thought is a stumbling block that ihere is no arrangement at all 
for the profane sciences here, its answer firstly is that there ought to be 
a treatmeni of the disease. To take medicine for a disease which is 
not there is useless. The crack in the wall should be filled in; it is not 
necessary lo fill the kiln. What is it but foolishness to be anx.ous obout 
the brick that has not fallen down? Of what earthly use are the govern- 
ment schools? If the profane sciences are not taught there, what else 
is done? Had these schools been less in number than what are re- 
quired, it would not have mattered. But it is common knowledge that 
through the government's attention schools have been started even 
in many villages. To arrange for secular schools in their presence and 
be negligent towards the religious sciences is not the work of far-seeing 

Thereafter the turban of proficiency was tied around the heads of 
the accomplished scholars at the hands of Maulana Ahmed Ali Muhaddith 
Saharanpuri. There was no end to the joy of the donors and the audi- 
ence for the right use of their donations; the happy and proud result of 
their monetary help was before their eyes. 


After the convocation was over the audience went from the Jama 
Masjid to that site where the foundation for the building of the Dar 
al-Ulum was to be laid. The foundaticn-slone was laid at the hands of 
Maulana Ahmed Ali Muhaddith Saharanpuri; then cne brick each was laid 
by Maulana Nanautavi, Maulana Gangohi and Maulana Muhammad 
Mazhar Nanautavi. These names are those which have been mentio- 
ned in the report. In a narrative of the Arwah-e Salasa 1 two more 
names are given — of Mianji Murine Shah and Haji Muhammad Abid 

Of this occasion there is also well-known another report that when 
the foundation-stone had been laid, all the people made an invocation 
in the Divine Court with extreme humility and submissiveness for the sur- 
vival and progress of the Dar al-Ulum. Hazrat Nanautavi said :— 

"In the Realm of Prototypes (Akim-e MiHuil) the shape of this madra- 
sah is like that of a suspended casserole; as long as it depends on 
trust and confidence in Allah, this madrasah will keep progressing". 

1. Arwah-e Salasa, aneedote No. 252. 

, . 


This incident has been versified by Maulana Fazl al-Rahman Usmani 
in the following words 1 :— 

"Its founder's will is that when some dependable source is arranged for 
it, this suspended lantern, this lamp of reliance — take it for granted 
— will become lightless and obscure. Its foundation rests on trust in 
Allah; if one supporter fulls off, another will be born". 

Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanaufavi elicited its chronogram from 
'Ashraf-e 'Imarat' 2 . The building was constructed in the course of eight 
years and at a cost of Rs. 23,000,/-, and was named Nav-darah, There 
are two sforeyes in it, each storey having nine doors. It is 26 yds. long 
and 12 yds.wide. This is the earliest building of the Dor al-Ulum. In 
construction it is simple and yet imposing. It is stated in the report that 
"in this building simplicity and strength were given priority. Its plan 
had been inspired inta the hearts from Allah'. 5 ' 

Hazrat Maulana Rafi' al-Din (during whose tenure as vice-chancellor 
ship this building was erected) saw the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and 
blessings be upon him! 1 , in dream that he was saying : "This compound 
Is very small'. Having said so, he himself drew a long and wide sketch 
with his auspicious staff, implying that the building be built on those 
markings. So the foundation was dug according to that and construction 
was started. About the architectural peculiarities of the Nav-darah, it 
is stated in the report :— 

"In iis architecture the elegance of Indian and English buildings is 
present. On its back side there is a nice pond, in the south a 1 , lawn and 
in the north the madrasah-garden; in the middle of the courtyard ihere 
is in blossom a small and exquisite orchard within an attractive railing, 
and around the railing all kinds of multi-coloured flower-plants are stand- 
ing in flower-pots". 4 

This spot in the Dar al-Ulum is known as lhata-e Maulsari (the Maul- 

1. 'Al-Qasim" ,Dar al-Ulum No., Muharram, A.H. 1347, p. 33. 

2. The numerical value of "Ashraf-e Imarat" comes to 1293, according to the 
Abjad system. The foundation-stone was laid on 2nd Zil-hijjah but since the 
year was ending, the construction work started in A.H. 1293, and hence it 
was called the year of construction. The same year is derived from another 
chronogrammatic fragment. 

3. Report for the year 1301/1883, p. 12. 

4. Report of Convocation, A.H. 1301, p. 7, and Report of Prize-distribution fun- 
ction in 1366/1947, mentioned in the Dar al-Ulum monthly, dated Ratnazan, 
1366/1947, pp. 11-12. 


sari Compound). That historical well which was built along with the 
Nav-darah is in the same compound. This well is considered very aus- 
picious; its water is very sweet and cold. Regarding the water of this 
well, the famous aulhor and divine, Maulana Manazir Ahsan Gilani, 
has slated his impression as follows r— - - 

"So delicious, so refreshing, so sweet, light, limpid and cold water I had 

never tasted ere this". 1 

The same Maulana Rafi' at-Din, in another dream, saw that "the 
well is full of milk and the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be 
on him!) is distributing the milk with a bowl; some people have small 
vessels, some large, and every man is carrying away his vessel after 
being filled up with milk". By the smallness and largeness of the vessels 
was meant, as the Maulana interpreted, "the capacity for knowledge" of 
each man 2 . 


Although no announcement had been made on behalf of the Dar al- 
Ulum as regards fetwa-giving, its universal centrality and general fame 
had, from the very beginning, inclined the people to seek fetwas from 
it in legal (shara'i) matters. Accordingly, it appears from the report for 
this year that legal queries (istcrfta) had begun to pour in abundantly. 
The Dar al-Ulum, too, considering it an important religious service, had 
accepted them (for replying). 


The madrasah at Thana Bhavan was given affiliation in A.H. 1291. 
In the same year three other madrasahs were established at Hazrat Na- 
nautavi's suggestion at Anbatha (district Saharanpur), Muzaffarnagar, 
and Gulaothi (district Buland Shahar). Since these three madrasahs had 
also been affiliated to the Dar al-Ulum, the annual examinations of all of 
them were organised by the Dar al-Ulum by sending its own teachers 
for conducting the examinations. 

1. Mau, Manazir Ahsan Gilani's series of articles entitled "hata-e Dar al-Ulum men 
Beete Huwe Din", in Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, monthly, Rabi al-Thani, A.H. 1371, 
P- 43. 

2. Report of Prize-distribution function, 1366/1947, in the Dar al-Ulum Deoband, 
monthly, Ramazan, A.H. 1366/1947, p. 12. 



There has been the custom in the Dar al-Ulum from its very incep- 
tion to give prize-books to the candidates who succeed in the examina- 
tions. Last year the students, instead of accepting ihc prize-books, had 
decided that the whole cost of these books which amounted approxima- 
tely to Rs 70/- be sent to Constantinople for the war-wounded Turk sol- 
diers and orphans. Besides this, Rs. 60'/- more which the students had 
collected on their own was sent to Constantinople. This year also the 
same decision was followed. This event took place during the battle of 
Pleona which was fought in 1877-73 between Russia and Turkey. 


About the end of the year A.H. 1294, Maulana Muhammad Yaqub 
Nanautavi, principal,, Maulana Rafi' al Din, vice-chancellor, and Maulana 
Mahmud Hasan went on pilgrimage in the company of Hazrat Maulana 
Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi. During this time the functions of vice- 
chancellor were discharged by Ha[i Fazl Haq. 



A conspicuous event in the history of the Dar ctl-Ulum this year is 
that its graduates, through mutual consultation, . established a body named 
"Thamarat al-Tarbial" ("The fruit of Training") with the objective that the 
scholars who had finished their education in the Dar al-Ulum and were 
now engaged in different walks of life realise that their alma mater had 
a great claim on them and therefore they should at least once a year nece- 
ssarily offer one-fourth of their monthly income to the alma mater. Ini- 
tially this body consisted of 19 members and its annual offer amounted to 
Rs. 98-As. 8. 


The Dar al-Ulum, Deobanc!, in the beginning, was known as Madra- 
sahr-o Islami Arabi, Deoband. Dar al-Ulum is a techniia! term which is 
applied to that teaching institution where higher education of 
all the rational and traditional sciences may be imparted and 
a body of expert teachers may be present to complete the studen's' edu- 
cation. Thus the words "Dar al-Ulum" and "university" are synonymous. 1 

1. The meaning of the word "university" given in the Concise Oxford Dictionary 
is : "Educational institution designed for instruction or examination or both of 
students in ail or many of the more important branches of learning, conferring 
degrees in various faculties, and often embodying colleges and similar insti- 
tutions". The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, as it was and still is, amply answers 
this definition. (Translator). 


According to this definition this madrasah was a Dar al-Ulum (university) 
from its very inception, but this word was not used for it so long as the 
Dar a!-Ulum did not complete the proper and necessary course of the re- 
ligious and the rational sciences for the students. When its branches were 
established here and there in the country and its education was gene- 
rally recognised and its centrality began to be acknowledged in acade- 
mic circles, Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi, in his lecture on the 
occasion of the prize-distribution function held on 1st, Safar, A,H. 1296, 
said :— 

"How may we express thanks to Allah that the 13th year of this ma- 
drasah, which is ftt to be called a dar al-ulum (university/)) ended 
with safety and well-being? In this short duration unlimited benefit 
accrued to Islam and the followers of Islam. Uncontrollably one wants 
to recite the following invocatory verse for it:— 

'May you live a thousand years, each year having fifty thousand days' "I 


An appeal had been made the year before to start education in the 
Unani System of Medicine in the Dar al-Ulum, because, as the appeal had 
emphasised, it was wanting in this important faculty, although the teach- 
ing of this science because of its universal benefits is one of the necessary, 
rather indispensable, things. It is stated in the report for this year: 
"Last year we had mentioned the need of the Unani medical education 
and since then we have been expecting the liberal-minded people to pay 
attention to this matter but as nothing has transpired so far to imple- 
ment this scheme, we, trusting in Allah, have now started instruction in 
Tibb. Accordingly, medical teaching has begun with Sadidi and Sharh-e 
Asbab. If the well-wishing gentlemen pay attention to this and to the 
community's welfare, Allah willing, arrangements will be made in future 
to train students in the clinical method, the art of surgery and pharma- 

Although this year, due to various diseases and a general famine, 
the number of students and the amount of donations were comparatively 
less, praise be to Allah that the steady feet of the Dar al-Ulum did not 


Hazraf Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi's sad demise (may 
Allah illuminate his grave!) was a great calamity for the Dar al-Ulum- 


The deep feelings cf sorrow and appreciation expressed by the mem- 
bers of ihe Dar al-Uiurn on this shocking occurrence, as mentioned in the 
report of the Dar ai-Ulum for this year, are as under :— 

"The completion of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth 
year is not so much ihe cause of happiness as the passing away of its 
parrcn and guardian.. Fakhr «I-Ulurr,a ("The Pride cf Divine Scholars") 
Maulana Maulavi Muhammad Qasim (Allah's mercy be en him') from this 
mortal world to the immortal realm is the cause of regret and sorrow. 
Although many such incidents are inscribed on ihe page of the world, 
this soul-crushing occurrence too is not such that the world and the people 
o." the world .may forget it all at once. Wis excellent qualities and ami- 
able manners are too manifest, rather dearer than the sun all over the 
world, to ba mentioned here. But the sum and substance thereof is that 
he remained engaged a lifetime in wishing weii for islam and ihe fol- 
lowers of Islam and spent his whole life in elevating the Word of Allah. 
Indeed the passing away of such a high-ranking, enterprising, profi- 
cient well-wisher of all the followers of Islam is, in general, a very severe 
misfortune for the Muslims, particularly for this mad;asah, for it was 
he who was the source of this stream of grace, the spring of this water 
of life, fhe manifestation cf this world-illuminating sun. Good God 1 
What great efforts and endeavours he devcied to the progress of this in- 
stitution of goodness (Khayr). The truth is that it is the result of his 
sound effort alone that in this country, India, notwithstanding the decline 
and debility of Islam and its followers, with vigour and fervour— as it 
should be— he spread the religious knowledge. What else is it if not Bn 
excellent miracle of the late Maulana? However much the madrasah and 
the people cf the madrasah be aggrieved at this sorrowful event, it will 
stiil bo less. This shocking incident is really such that it should be written 
in detail, but how long and how far? So it is put down briefly that on 
Thursday, 4th Jamadi al-Thani 1 , A.H. 1297, after the decline of the sun, 
this godly divine died of asthama; aged 49; at Deoband. 

1. In 'he report for the year AH 1297, the dale of death is 4ih Jamadi al-Thani 
and the day is Thursday, Maulana Hakim Mansoor AM Khan, a weil-guided 
iple of the laie Maulana, who was present at Deoband at the time of death, 
has also written the same date in his book Maztob-e Mansoor (vol. ii, pp. 179 
& 189). But this is not correc'. The month of death is Jamadi al-Ula. Ac- 
cordingly, Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi, in his Sawanh-e Qasimi, has 
mentioned 4th Jamadi aWJla, Shough he too has written Thursday as the day 
of death, as mentioned in the said report. A calligraphic chronogrammatic 
fragment on his death from the pen of Maulana Fazl al-Rahman is hanging in 
the vice-chancellor's office. It also shows the same date — Thursday. 4th 
Jamadi al-Thani. So to say, at two places the month is Jamadi al-Thani and 
at two places it is Jamadi af-Uia, All these four are contemporary sources and 








The kind of distress that befeil the madrasah and the people of tha 
madrasah now had never befallen them before. Although many a chro 
nogram was composed on this sad event, a fragment which is extremely 
apposite to it, composed by Mau'avi Fazl al-Rahman, Deputy inspector of 
Schools, Bijnore, is as under :— 

"Such is the sorrow caused by the passing away of the Qasim of the 
assembly of guidance that every heart (lit., interior) is sipping the draught 
of grief. Such is this sorrow that thereby the cup of the assembly of 
spiritual knowledge is inverted like the cask of the sky. Not only is the 
earth pallid due to this grief; the attire of the sky too is bluish in this 
mourning. Out of anguish wrote Fazl this year of death : "Wafat-e 
Sarwar-e Alam ka yeh namocna hai" (i.e., this is a specimen of the death 
of the Chief of the World" — the Holy Prophet). (The numerical value 
of the Urdu letters in the last half-verse given above totals up to 1297, 
i.e. A.H. 1297) 


After Hazrat Nanautavi's demise (may his secret be sanctified!), the 
members of the Majlis-e Shura proposed Hazrat Maulana Rasheed Ahmed 
Gangohi to be the patron of the Dar a]-Ulum from A.H. 1297. It needs no 
mention that Hazrat Gangohi was Hazrat Nanautavi's school-fellow and 
colleague. Both cf ihem covered the educational s?ages at the same 
place, both had had the honour of being the pupils of Shah Abd al-Ghani 
Mujaddidi Dehelvi in Hadith and both had achieved the most distingui- 

(Foot-noto confnued) 

the latter venters have followed them only. 

The variance is in the fixation of the month only; otherwise, all are unanimous 
as regards 4th as the date and Thursday as the day of death. According 
to almanac and chronology, the 4th of Jamadi al-U!a comes out as the date 
on Thursday. Thursday does not correspond with Jamadi al-Thani. Accord- 
ing to a nartativti in Sawanh-e Qasimi, Hazrat Nanautavi's death prec3dt : 
of Maulana Ahmed Ali Muhaddith's by two days. The date of the tetter is 
Saturday, 6th Jamadi al-Ula (Tarikh-e Mszahir-e Uiurn. p. 41). Hence also 
this month ought to be Jamadi al-lf!a and not Jamadi al-Thani. 
Besides this, the late Sir Sayyid, in his condolatory article published in Ali- 
fjarh institute Gazette, dated Saturday, April 24, 1880, has written Hazrat 
Nanautavi's date of demise as April 15, 1880 (vid'3 p. 467 of the said Gazette), 
This also corresponds with Thursday, 4th Jamadi ai-Ula. That is to say, tha 
correct month of death is the same which is mentioned in Sawanh-e Qasimi 
and in Maulana Fazl a!-Rahman's chronoarammatic fraqment on Hazrat Nanau- 
tavi's d^ath. Apparently, therefore, them has occurred negligence in record- 
ing Jamadi al-Thani as the month of death both in the Report of A.H. 1297 
and Mashab-e Mansoor. (S. 'M, Rizvi). 


shed position amongst those who had received khilafal (spiritual succe- 
ssion) from the Shaikh al-Masha'ikh Haji Imdad Allah Mahajir-e Makki 
(Emigrant to Mecca). The Shaikh himself was proud of these two disciples. 
It is stated in the Report that "Hazrat Maulana Gangohi is like Hazrat Na- 
nautavi and has always been helping the Dar al-Ulum externally and 
spiritually. Allah Most High has bestowed upon the Dar al-Ulum a change 
for the better A great hope is entertained from this that, Allah willing, 
no disorder shall appear in the affairs of (he Dar al-Ulum"- Accordingly, 
the hope that was entertained from Hazrat Gangohi, as the history of 
the Dar al-Ulum is a witness thereof, was amply fulfilled. 


If is stated in the instruction that the Shaikh of Arabia and non-Arabia, 
Haji Imdad Allah Mahajir-e Makki had given to his disciples on the de- 
mise of Hazrat Nanautavi that 'in this era the popularity an institution of 
knowledge enjoys in the Divine Court is not had by any other thing". 
The text of the letter of instruction is as under:— 

"After divine praise and salutations to the Prophet, this fakir, Imdad 
Allah, (may Allah forgive him!), submits to those gentlemen who cherish 
connection of love, discipleship and kinship, whether such kinship is 
umbilical or paternal, with this fakir that this fakir has had a special 
connection with the Arabic Madrasah of Deoband which, due to its 
excellence, is at present very prosperous and famous; rather he con- 
siders this madrasah to be his own. So all the gentlemen too should 
consider this madrasah to be their own and whatever help they can 
render to it personally or possibly through effort and recommendation, 
they should always attempt if and deem supervision of it as their own ^ 

responsibility, because in this last era the popularity that an institution 
of knowledge enjoys in the Divine Court is not had by any other thing. 
And all the persons, in respect of this madrasah, rather, in every 
matter, should show liberality by being concurrent, unanimous and 
single-hearted, because unity is very popular in the eyes of Allah 
(great is His glory!) and is conducive to a good result in every affair 1 . 


For the last two, three years ihe usual annual convocation could not 
be held, but this year it was held on a large scale in the month 


1. This precious writing of the Haji Sahib has been preserved in the Dar al-Ulum, 
Deoband. 7 


Shawwal. Besides those from the environs of Deoband, the ulema, the 
rich and the common people from distant places attended this function in 
large numbers. The number of guests coming from outside was, more or 
jess, around 1200. The arrangement for their dining had been made by 
the towns, people. One peculiarity of this function was that instead of 
the Jama Masjid where such functions were being held so far, it was held 
in the campus of the Dar al-Ulum itself. There were 14 candidates who 
deserved conferrment of the sanad and the turban, but out of them only 
7 were present. Hazrat Gangohi, with his own auspicious hands, wrap- 
ped the turbans around their heads. Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Na- 
nautavi, detailing the necessity of religious schools and the popularity of 
the Dar al-Ulum in his convocation speech, said t— 

"By the vanishing of knowledge in the period is meant the knowledge 
of religion and not any other kind of knowledge. Such causes had com- 
bined in this era that the extinguishing of this lamp had become most pro- 
bable. As such, theological sciences, beliefs, jurisprudence, Hadith, 
Tafsir (Quranic exegesis) and their supporting disciplines like etymology 
and syntax, rhetorics, literature and principles of jurisprudence — how 
they all got obliterated! And the rationai sciences like scholastic theology, 
logic, mathematics, astronomy — to what a pitiable condition they have 
been reduced! Every Muslim is aware of it how much necessary are the 
religious sciences. The soundness of beliefs, the equipment for ritual puri- 
fication (taharat), the method of prayer, the manner of paying the sur- 
plus-wealth tax (zctkat), the discharging of the fasts of Ramazan, the per 
formance of the components and rites of pilgrimage (hajj), the command- 
ments regarding matrimony and divorce, the distribution of inheritance, 
the goodness and badness of dealings - how can all these be known with- 
out having religious knowledge? Although translations have been made 
of all sorts of books, it is obvious that the religious propositions (masa'ii) 
cannot be understood fully without the help of a teacher. At such a 
crucial time the ocean of Divine Mercy came to surge and Divine Grace 
came to help, making a provision for knowledge to survive a while, 
wherefore this near-dying lamp got a new lease of life and the divine 
manner of. mercy, with the support of a straw, helped correct the breath- 
ing of the drowning man; i.e., inspired some of his favourite 
slaves with the enterprise fo lay the foundation of this 
madrasah and through their effort provided that which was lil! 
then unimaginable. The Madrasah at Saharanpur too was esta- 
blished about the .same time and then madrasahs came up at 
many places and, if it please Allah, will come up stiii, and their benefit 
will continue to accrue to the people of the World. But this madrasah 
has had such honour of being the first, the precursor and the pioneer, 


tha t this divine boon we must in nowise forget, and however much Deo- 
band lakes pride on this precedence, it is fit and proper. And how far 
an d wide the good name of this town Cached! Then there began to flock 
the seekers of knowledge. Hod .here been capacity and if arrangements 
could be mode for boarding, lodging and dressing of the incommg stu- 
dents, it seems that there would have been no less than a thousand to 
fifteen hundred students. But of necessity the students coming for admi- 
ssion have to be told that there is no more, room here. Even now nearly 
two hundred and fifty students are on the roll in this madrasah. And the 
condition of many a student is such that two and three have to content 
themselves with the food of one person, and some are staying here with 
mere trust in Allah, mustering courage to put up with starving, just to 
pursue their studies- May Allah Most High besicvv upon them the fruit 
of their lofty spirit 1 "! 


As regards co-operation with and donations for the Dar al-Ulum, 
it has been the practice from the very inception to accept donations 
from all sorts of people, irrespective of their religion and community. 
The very first clause of the constitution of the Dar al-Ulum for donation 
is as follows :— 

"There is no fixed quantity of donation nor any peculiarity of religion 

and community". 

Accordingly, the names of Hindus and other non-Muslim donors 
are mentioned at several places in the reports, and this practice conti- 
nues to date. Besides this, in the initial years of the, Dar al-Ulum, 
Hindu children were also seen along with the Muslim children in the 
classes for Persian and mathematics. The education of the Hindu chil- 
dren continued in the Dar al-Ulum for a pretty long time. However, 
when the British government made certificates of government schools 
necessary for government jobs, the Hindu children, like the Muslim, 
desiring to join government services, got inclined towards the govern- 
ment schools. 

Besides the cash donations, in the procurement of- books also, the 
part of the non-Muslims, particularly the Hindus, has been great. In 
this connection the name of the late Munshi Nawaj Kishore, proprietor 
of the famous Nawal Kishore Press of Lucknow, ranks very high in the 

1. Report of the function for prize-distribution, A.H. 1298, pp. 11-12. 


history of the Dar al-Ulum. As long as he was alive, he necessarily 
continued to gift copies of the publications of his press to the Dar al- 
Ulum. It has been mentioned in the foregone, in the report of A-H. 1287. 

In 1299/1881, the English registrar of the Punjab University, 
Dr G. W. Letter, also sent nearly two dozen books of different arts and 
sciences for the library. 


Mentioning the rewards and effects of the Dar al-Uium and appealing 
to ertld drawing the attention of the charitable people and lovers of know- 
ledge for enhancing their help and support it has been staled in the procee- 
dings o'i A.H- 13G0 as follows:— 

"Whatever hopes for delicious fruits were being entertained from 
1 h is green, fresh tree, have been and are being fulfilled for the Muslims. 
The diligence and heart-felt sincerity of the teachers of this place has 
drawn a whole world of students 1o this madrasah: they keep coming from 
far off places in India to acquire religious knowledge. Many a poor but 
sincere Muslim devoted his spirits in supporting and helping it and gave 
aid, as per his capacity, In cash and in the form of books and food and 
clothes and took care of the oulside students. May Allah bestow upon 
them good reward! But since the gate of knowledge is very wide and 
this great desert is very vast, it is as yet its first day as regards equipment 
for education. As long as the affluent Muslims do not pay heed towards 
it and do not supply full equipment, its development as it ought to be is 
not possible". 

In A.H. 1301, the 4th convocation was held as usual on a grand scale. 
Two to two and a half thousand outsiders attended it. Arrangement 
for dining them was made by the local residents- Maulana Muhammad 
Yaqub Nanautavi stated the details of the performance of the Dar al- 
Ulum during the last 18 years and also its rewards, it is stated in the 
proceedings :— 

"Despite distress and destitution, the students made such prog.-ess in 
learning that the madrasahs of Delhi were recalled to memory; and the 
sense of obedience and the good deeds of these dutiful young men and 
culture of these adolescents appeared in such a way that the madrasah 
became the specimen of a hospice (khnnqah). And why should it not be 
so? This is the very s : gn of Allah's work ?hat the effect be proportio- 


nalely greater than the cause and growth and development be much 
more than the size of the seed; this is what is called baraka (prosperity, 
blessing) and Allah's work is such only. 

"This is the nineteenth year of this young plant. In the last 18 years 
thousands of Allah's bondmen received benefit more or less and departed 
to pursue their goals. Thrice this convocation has been held earlier. 
The first of these took place in A.H. 1290, seven years after the inaugu- 
ration, in which five maulavis were awarded the 'turban'; the second in 
A.H. 1292, in which also five maulavis received the turban; and the third 
in A.H. 1296, in which seven students were conferred turbans. Now, 
in AH. 1301, eleven accomplished scholars worthy of being conferred 
turbans are present and it is for this- ceremony of conferment of turbans 
that you, gentlemen, have been given the trouble to come here. In these 
eighteen years seventeen maulavis earlier and eleven this time total up 
to twenty-eight, and it also deserves to be mentioned that every time 
some accomplished maulavis who graduated from here and were wor- 
thy of this honour could not attend the convocations simply because they 
had returned to their distant native-places. If their number too is reckoned, 
it is not less than the said figure. Now this matter is worth considera- 
tion : eighteen years and fifty-six accomplished maulavis! It is an achie- 

"Fifty haflzes were prepared by the end of A.H, 1300. Similarly, 
many students acquired very good ability from the Persian classes. 
Ailhough i his number, in proportion to this madrasah is quite big, in 
proportion to India if is not even equal to mite in the cheese ',!it., salt 
in flour). Though many madrasahs have been established with donations 
and this system of benefit is current in them, still there are whole districts 
and entire provinces which are devoid of religious knowledge 1 ". 


For the last few years the problem of establishing a department of 
Tibb (Unani System of Medicine) in the Dar al-Ulum was under considera- 
tion- Though the teaching of Tibb had been started in A.H. 1296, there 
was no separate arrangement for it. So, in A.H. 1301, the Department 
of Tibb was established as per the following resolution of the Majlis-e 
Shura :— 

"The proposition for appointing a teacher for imparting education in 
Tibb has been under consideration for a pretty long time and has been, 

1. Proceedings of Convocation, A.H. 1301, pp. 11-12. 


as such, mentioned several times in the proceedings. The students too 
are desirous of pursuing this education in Tibb. Maulana Muhammad 
Yaqub's opinion is that a physician tabib (hakim) should be appointed 
exclusively for this purpose. So it seems better thot this department 
should be established. It shall be incumbent upon the physician that, be- 
sides the quantam of teaching-work, he, in his off-time, discharges the 
service of treating the ailing students". 


Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi was the first Shaikh 
al-Hacfith (Professor of Hadith) in the Dar al-Ulum. At that time this post 
was known as the post of the head-master. In A.H. 1283, which is the 
first year of the existence of the Dar al-Ulum, he came to Deoband. His 
knowledge and learning have contributed a lot to the fame and glory of 
the Dar al-Ulum. The ardour and feeling of attachment he had had for 
the Dar al-Ulum can be assessed to some extent from the excerpts of 
his speeches which have been quoted in the proceedings of the past 
years. As Shaikh al-Hadith he served the Dar al-Ulum for nearly eigh- 
teen years. D.uring this period 77 students graduated from the Dar al- 
Ulurn, including such brilliant savants, scholars and luminaries as Hazrat 
Shaikh al-Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi, Hazrat Maulana 
Ahmed Hasan Amrohi, Hazrat Maulana Fakhr al-Hasan Gangohi, Hazrat 
Maulana Khalil Ahmed Anbathvi, Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, 
Hazrat Maulana Mufti Aziz al-Rahman Deobandi, Hazrat Maulana Hafiz 
Muhammad Ahmed Nanautavi, Hazrat Maulana Habib al-Rahman Usmani, 
Hazrat Maulana Raheem Allah Bijnori, etc. 

The Maulana, a few days before his death, went to Nanauta and 
on 3rd Rabi al-Awwal, A.H- 1302, died of paralysis. "Unto Allah we 
belong and unto Him is the retreat 1 "! 


The summary of the results till this time, i.e., 21 years from the date 
of establishment is given in the proceedings of this year. In this period 
141 students have completed or are near completion of their studies. 
The students who read something during the course of studies and then 
went away are besides the above-mentioned number; such drop-outs' 
number could not be computed. 64 students have attained the good for- 
tune of memorising the Holy Quran; the students who have only read the 
Quran are besides them. A list of all these students has been given in 

1. For details, vide Ch. v. 


the proceedings but for fear of prolixity it could not be given here. It is 
regrettable that there is no mention in the proceedings of those students 
who have derived benefit from and passed in the Persian and mathema- 
tics classes- li is obvious that the number of those who took advantage 
of these classes must also be considerable. 


This is ihe 22nd year of the existence of the Dar al-Ulum. Within this 
short time the gamut of its grace, having crossed the borders of India, 
had reached as far as Bukhara and Samarqand and students used to be 
drawn to it from such distant lands. The students of these places are 
seen mentioned here and there in the reports of ihe past years. Thus 
the circle of its sympathisers and helpers had widened. Accordingly, the 
citizens of Hyderabad (Deccan) established a society there under the name 
"Mo'een al-lsiam" to help the Dar al-Ulum. The detailed proceedings of 
this society are given in this year's report, in which the importance of re- 
ligious education has been described in a very fervent manner and, ap- 
pealing dt ihe end to ihe communal sense of honour, a sketch of the donors 
to the Dar al-Ulum has been drawn in a very effective style. Some of its 
sentences are as follows :— 

"You will be amazed when you hear what type of zealous persons give 
donations to it and in what quantify they give it. There is a widow 
who operatesa flour hand-mill; she contributes only half an anna (the 
currfent 3 naya paise) in the whole year. There is ihe son of a poor 
iron-smith; he pays only one anna in the year; and a carpenter who 
offers only two annas for Allah's sake. There is one spirited man who 
brings a few pices (paise) only on the fulfilment of his vow, thinking 
that it would defray at least the expense of oil and wick, A bondman 
of Allah offers a few books for the students. In fine, whatever one 
can, one makes an endeavour with either a little money or some phy- 
sical exertion or through one's pen for the development of the madra- 
sah, and wishes from the bottom of one's heart thai somehow this lamp 
of guidance remain alight". 

The movement the Anjuman-e Mo'een at-lslam had started in Hydera- 
bad for helping the Dar al-Ulum thrived much in the later years and con- 
tinued for a lonn time. 



A movement for helping the Dor al-Uium had started last year in 
Hyderabad under the auspices of the Anjuman-e Mo'een al-lslam. In A.H. 
loui, me prime-minister at tne Hyaeraoad btate, Nawab b.r Asman Jah, 
sanciioned on behalf or the Asoryan government, a perpetual gram of 
Ks. 100./- p.m In issuing mis help from Hyderabad the effort me late 
Nawab Waqar al-Mulk Mauiavi Musntaq Husam had made has been men- 
tioned and thanked in the report in a very torcetu! manner. 1 This grant 
or donavion from Hyderabad was augmented from time to time and thro- 
ugh the efforts of Mauiana Hatiz Muhammad Ahmed this sum gradually 
readied the figure of Ks. 1,000,- p.m. At that time a separate amount of 
Rs. 3,000/- was also given" by ihe Asatyah government under the head of 
construction. This chain of donations continued non-stop till the merger 
of the Hyderabad State. 

If would be very unjust not to acknowledge here that in the first half 
of the 20th century the various acts of educational patronage of and lavi- 
sh expenses on academic matters by the Asafyah state had revived the 
memory of the kings and nobles of the past era of Islamic history. In 
this period the academic achievements made by the Asafyah state always 
deserve to be written in letters of gold on the pages of history. 


' Mauiana Rafi' al-Din who had been vice-chancellor for more or less 
twenty years went for pilgrimage in AH. 1306. This journey was under- 
taken with the motive of emigration. Accordingly, living in the illumina- 
ted Madina for two years, he passed away there in A. H. 1 308. The mem- 
bers of the Shura requested Haji Muhammad Abid to take up the respon- 
sibilities of vice-chancellorship. As mentioned in the foregone, Haji Sahib 
was a member of the Majlss-e Shura from the very inception and had ser- 
ved as vice-chancellor twice in A.H. 1283 and A.H- 1286-7. 


It has already been mentioned at the time of the establishment of the 
Dar al-Ulum that when it was inaugurated, the first-ever student was 
Shaikh a!-Hind Mauiana Mahmud Hasan (Allah's mercy be on him!). In 
A. H. 1'29Q he completed his education and the very next year he was 
appointed as a teacher. Thereafter, in A.H. 1303, when Mauiana Sayyid 
Ahmed Deheivi resigned, the Shaikh at-Hind was assigned deanship. 

1. Rudad, A.H. 1306, p. 90. 



Concerning the educational results it is stated in the report for A.H 
1309 that in the course of 27 years, 234 alims (divine doctors) and 81 hafi- 
zes have graduated- 

In A.H. 1310, due to the heavy preoccupations of Haji Muhammad 
Abid and many demands on his time, a change had to be made in the 
vice-chancellor ship. It is stated in the report: "Since Haji Muhammad Abid 
(may his lofty shadow be extended!),.due to the thronging of Allah's crea- 
tures who present themselves in his auspicious presence in droves to seek his 
invocation for the solution of their difficulties and the healing of their ail- 
ments, and his celebrated self, by virtue of his affection for all and ami- 
able manners, does not like to let any one go disappointed, does not 
get so much leisure as to devote more of it to administrative affairs, his 
lauded self considered it fit to entrust this work to Haji Fazl Haq and him- 
self supervise the latter's work. The members of the Shura, with a view 
to mitigate his inconveniences, acknowledged this and hence it was de- 
cided unanimously by them that Haji Fazl Haq be appointed pro- vice- 


As regards the establishment of the Dar al-lfta, it is stated : "Due 
to the fame of the madrasah, legal queries (istafta) come to it abundantly 
from far off places and the teachers de not have so much off-time as to 
write the replies thereof without harm to their teaching-work. A great ob- 
ject in teaching religious sciences is also this that the common Muslims 
may know the legal propositions (mttsa'ii-e shara'i) and there may be 
facility in ascertaining the truth; hence, with a view to expendiency, it 
was decided that Maulavi Aziz al-Rahman, pro-vicej-chancellor, be ap- 
pointed for the ifta service so that the common Muslims may have no di- 
fficulty in obtaining fetwas". 


As yet only a quarter of a century had passed over the establishment 
of the Dar al-Ulum when ils accomplished scholars began to be seen 
gracing the masnads of teaching everywhere in the seminaries of the sub- 
continent. It is stated in the report for the year A.H. 1311 : "The accom- 
plished scholars of this madrasah are holding posts of teachers in most 
cf the Islamic madrasahs (in the country). Praise be to Allah that this mad- 


rosah always remained exalted due to the goodness of its education, effi- 
cient management, strength of students and the excellence of its teachers. 
The magistral staff of this madrasah, thank Allah, are superior and accom- 
plished in all the rational and traditional sciences and perform their work 
with sincerity and for the sake of Allah, like their great teachers- the 
pious founders and developers of this madrasah—; and notwithstanding 
the fact that they are invited to other places on higher salaries, they, 
being content with their meagre salaries here, are active with their heart 
and soul in making efforts and in teaching the students. How much 
benefit of this madrasah of Deoband reached the world and how its 
light drew owt a whole world from the darkness of ignorance and set it 
on the right path is not hidden from anyone. In this short duration its 
fame reached from east to west and the ulema who benefitted from it 
are engaged everywhere in guiding the people. This obligation of the 
madrasah is not such that one might forget it or acquit oneself off from 
the burden of indebtedness to it. 


In the previous year, due to Haji Muhammad Abid's preoccupations, 
Haji Fazl Haq had been appointed vice-chancellor in his place but just after 
one year he tendered his resignation. So, in his place, Maulana Muha- 
mmad Munir Nanautavi was made vice-chancellor but hardly had one 
year passed when he too resigned. Hence it became necessary that such 
a personality be chosen for this post who, besides having the quality of 
perserevance may also be experienced, learned and capable of vice-chan- 
cellorship so that not only he may maintain the traditions of the earlier 
period of the Dar al-Ulum but also infuse in them a fresh spirit through 
his practical and academic abilities. All such qualities were amply pre- 
sent in the person of Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed, son of Maulana 
Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi. So Maulana Gangohi selected him for 
this post. The details of how well-suited and useful for the Dar al-Ulum 
this selection was will come at the appropriate place. 


In the past few years the changes that had taken place in the vice- 
chancellorship every now and then had created disorder in the organisa- 
tion of the Dar al-Ulum. Maulana Gangohi who was the patron of the 
Dar al-Uium then came to Deoband and stayed a week. The particulars 
as mentioned in the report during his stay are as follows :— 

"As many Muslims and supporters of the madrasah were awaiting 
Maulana Gangohi's arrival since long, the ulema, the virtuous and other 


dignified Muslims came in hordes from the surrounding places and Delhi, 
Moradabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, etc. Nawab Mahmud 
Ali Khan, Ra'ees-e Chhattari (Aligarh) had brought Shaikh Basharat Ali, 
the administrator of his estate, along with himself. In short, a wonderful, 
blessed and dignified multitude of Muslims had gathered- The Nawab 
inquired thoroughly into the interna! and external affairs of the madrasah 
and scrutinised all the accounts, official documents, library, etc., personally 
as well as through Shaikh Basharat Ali; and inspected the holdings of the 
treasury also with close attention and penetration. Thank Allah that he 
found every thing in order in every way. 

"Thereafter the Maulana turned his atteniion to the administration 
of the madrasah and as per unanimity of opinions inducted into the Con- 
sultative Council six persons who in respect of knowledge and wisdom, 
outward dignity and academic and administrative capacity are distingui- 
shed. These respectable names are as under ■.— 

"Maulavi Mir Ahmed Hasan Atnrohi, First Teacher, Madrasah-e Islami- 
yyah, Amroha; Nawab Maulavi Muhi al-Din Khan Moradabadi, Rector, 
Madrasah-e Islamiyyah, Moradabad; Maulavi Abd al-Haq Pur Qazwi, 
Vakil-e Riyasat-e icatlam; Maulavi Shah Mazhar Hasan Gangohi Qud- 
dusi; Hakim Muhammad isma'il Gangohi aJias Hakim Ajmeri, residing 
at Bombay; Shah Sa'eed Ahmed Anbathvi, Tutor to the heir-apparent 
of Maler Kotla state. Moreover, the vice-chancellor and dean of the 
Dar al-Ulum too were included as ex-officio members". 


The sympathisers of the Dar ai-Ulum in Hyderabad showed great en- 
thusiasm for the purpose of constructing rooms in the Dar al-U!um for out- 
side students. Maulavi Shaukat Husain, assistant subedar of Warangal, 
was the moving spirit of this movement. At the Dar al-Ulum's appeal he 
collected, through his own efforts, a fund of seven thousand rupees and 
remitted it for the construction of the rooms. His good self at that time 
had written a long article in the Aligarh Inslitute Gazette in which 
he had shown in a very effective manner why help to the Dar al-Ulum 
was necessary. An excerpt of this article is given below. It is known 
from this what kind of thoughts regarding the Dar al-Ulum were found 
in the country then. He writes :— 

"The debatable point now is whether from this fund that will be 
collected, some new foundation of a madrasah should be raised separate- 


ly or a building should be added on an already well-established founda- 
tion. But as far as it is pondered, our opinion is that rather than a new 
foundation why an already built foundation should not be taken posse- 
ssion of; otherwise the consequence of diquishness will be the same as ii 
always has been and which has razed the communal mansion to the 
ground. Then, it is not known when the quantity of the capital would 
reach that stage that we might work out our own plan as per our wish, 
and there is no knowing what is to happen til! tomorrow. The commu- 
nity's apathy and the difficulties of fund-collection too are loo well-known. 
So, indeed, the means of achieving cur object, as far as it is, are found 
in ihis that as by and by the sum is realised, it may be invested on a 
well-established madrasah so that at present that very madrasah, growing 
every moment in glory and progress, may become the source of honour 
and pride for the community. Then that one madrasah is that of Deo- 
band which we have chosen for ihis our attention. We cast a glance 
over the existing religious modrasahs in the different parts of India but 
found this madrasah of Deoband only to be such that can be called very 
much of a boon, and for the last 30-32 years it has been making progress 
on its own little by lit'le From day to day, and from the point of view 
of its age, steadiness and usefulness, if there is any amongst all the re- 
ligious schools in India worthy of being called the premier institution, it 
is this only. From the royal treasury of His Exalted Highness also it is 
this madrasah which is being granted twelve hundred rupses per annum 
since the time of the ministership of Sir Asman Jah Bahadur. 

"in short, for a iong time, despile an unconsfant and trifling revenue, 
this madrasah continues in somewhat developed condition; and it is no 
doubt the effect of some granted invocation that by now the madrasah 
has built a small building also by itself. Something of a library has also 
been built up and, as far as possible, it does not let the students starve, 
and produces every year hafizes; meulavis and scholars— of whatever 
quality they may be. 

"In sum, at present in India this is the only madrasah, which, vis- 
a-vis other madrasahs, is distinct in every aspect and seems to deserve 
the benefit of our efforts and support and also has the ability to benefit 
in return 1 ". 


The appeal that had been made during the previous years proved to 
be fruitful. Nawab Shah Jehan Begum, the ruler of Bhopal, donated a 

1. Aligarh Institute Gazette, dated Sept. 18, 1897, p. 8. ... 


pretty big amount for the construction of the students' hostel, The de- 
tails of constructions given in the report are that many rooms for students 
have been constructed in a separate compound, adjacent to the madrasah 
and have been named Dar al-Talaba ("Student's Hostel"). Besides this, 
the buildings for office, guest-house, etc., have been completed above the 
big gate and around it at an expense of twelve thousand rupees. To ce- 
lebrate this joyous occasion, sweets were distributed to the mason and the 
labourers. Addressing the audience on this occasion, Maulana Zulfiqar 
Ali, a member of the Majlis-e Shura, said :— 

"This is an occasion of great joy and thanksgiving for us that even 
as this village attained, through sheer divine support, the honour of being 
the centre for teaching the religious sciences, we also received the plea- 
sure that such a grand, stylish and strong building, without the help of a 
plan and estimate, has been completed at the hands of a local architect 
(mason) and seeing which even great educated men and experienced en- 
gineers approve it and express satisfaction. 


1. Rudad-e Majlis-e Shura, A.H. 1318, pp. 149-150. 


As stated earlier, the library of the Dar al-Ulum had already begun 
in A.H. 1283 and books were being added to it from time to time Ini- 
tially, the beginning was made with text-books and their relevant comm- 
entaries; then, besides text-books, general books were also being pro- 
cured. It appears from the report of A.H. 1319 that till this year a suffi- 
cient number of books on various arts and sciences had been collected. 
As such, it is stated in the report: "By Allah's favour such a stock of text- 
books and non-textual books has been collected in the madrasah that it 
is sufficient for the needs of the madrasah in every way; i.e., whatever 
may be the number of students in a class, all of them can get books for 
the whole academic period. Necessary books of every subject with com- 
mentaries and scholia (hawashi) are available. Some rare books have 
also been collected Collectively, it is a very grand library} however, there 
still remain many stages in completing the wide and limitless stock of 
Islamic writings- If this library is completed, it will be a grand memo- 
rial to the Muslims' enterprises and generosities lasting till the Day of 
Doom. Maulavi Abid Husain, Honorary Magistrate, Jaunpur, deserves to 
be thanked for he has donated his precious library full of rare books to 
the Dar al-U!um". 

In this year, Nawab Sultan Jehan Begum, ruler of Bhopal, due to 
her love for knowledge, fixed a donation of three hundred rupees per 


cnnum for the Dar al-Ulum. The Bhopal Stale has been the owner of 
special fame and glory in ihe past for its patronisation of learning. In 
latei' years the amount of donation from Bhopal reached two and a half 
Ihousand rupees yearly and continued iill the merger of the state. 



In A.H.1320, Hakim al-Um:nat Maulana Ashraf Alt Thanvi and Haz-. 

rat Abd al-Raheem Raipuri were made members of the Majlis-e Shura. 

- i 



For quite some time there had been a proposal for starting the tea- 
ching of cantillation (tajvid) and orthoepy (qir'at) in the Dar al- Ulum and 
efforls had been made in this regard several times but for want of re- 
venue under this head success could not be met with in starting it. This 
year, on the one hand, the Majlis-e Shura, trusting in Allah, approved 
the proposal for starting this department and, on the Other, Allah Most 
High mysteriously mode this provision that Qazi Aleem al-Din, a noble 
man of Shamli, made an endowment of his property, the monthly income 
of which was Rs- 5C/-, to the Dar al-Ulum, specifying this income to 
be used exclusively for teaching cantillation and orthoepy. Qari Abd al- 
Waheed Khan Allahabadi, a distinguished disciple of Qari Abd al- Rah- 
man Makki, was appointed in this department for teaching orthoepy. 

This is a wonderful co-incidence that even as the inauguration of 
the Dar al-Ulum had taken place with one teacher and one pupil, the de~ 
partment of tajvid too started with one teacher and one pupil. This pupil 
who was the first to read the Holy Quran with tajvid (cantillation) in the 
milieu of the Dar al-Ulum was none other than the one who became the 
most famous qari and divine of the period and is today known to the 
Islamic world as Hakim al-lslam Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, vice- 
chancellor. Dor al-Ulum, Deoband. 

The gamut of grace of Qari Abd al-Waheed Khan's teaching is very 
wide. The teaching of cantillation has been compulsory in the Dar al- 
Ulum for a long time and hence there is none amongst the scholars of 
the Dar al-Ulum who may have remained deprived of this exquisite art 
and moy not have benefitted from Qari Abd al-Waheed or his trained and 
seasoned disciples. 




lp the report for this year one suggestion was made on behalf of the 
Dar al-Ulum that"such students who might have passed the entrance exa- 
mination (of an English High School) and wished to take admission in the 
Dar al-Ulum be given scholarship of ten or fifteen rupees per month; 
similarly, there was need of fixing stipends for those students too who, 
after finishing their courses in the Dar ai-Ulum, wished to acquire English 
education". The words of the report are : "In both these cases there 
are many advantages for the Muslims". But alas! there being no dona- 
tions for this head, this vision could not be put into practice. 


Sir James D. Latouche, governor of U.P., came in A.H. 1322 to see 
the Dar al-Ulum. He saw the various buildings, classes and library and 
liked the library most. He asked to take out the hand-written copies of 
the Quran and saw them; talked with the teachers and students, asked 
about their native-places and inquired about their aim and object in 
seeking knowledge. The students said that their ideal was the revival 
Of religion and service to the country and the community. From foreign 
students he inquired the reason of their coming from such distant lands. 
They said that it was the matchless educational quality of the Dar al-Ulum 
and its academic attraction that drew them towards it from such far off 
places. In the class of the Holy Quran he heard a section .{ruku') of 
Sura-e Rahman from a child. After the at-home was over, the governor, 
in' reply to the address, spoke at the function in chaste Urdu and said :— 

"I was very glad to see the madrasah. Students come here from 
everywhere which is a proof of its popularity, I also heard that the stu- 
dents graduating from here are not in distress in the matter of livelihood. 
Here, besides the imparting of knowledge, culture, morals, integrity and 
sincerity are also inculcated. You gentlemen are making efforts for the 
progress of the madrasah. This is a good sign. This alone is the mode 
of progress. When new necessities do not crop up in a work, it is thought 
that the progress has stopped. I have been told about an open drain 
that passes by the madrasah. I will think over it". 1 

After the governor's speech, Maulana Sayyid Ahmed, Imam, Shahi 
Masjid, Delhi, and Maulavi Abd al-Ahad, proprietor, Matba-e Muitabai, 

1. This dirty drain towards which attention had been drawn was later on removed 
by the order of another governor. It passed behind the Nav-darah and was 
causing hindrance to the extension of the buildings of the Dar al-Ulum. 


Deihi, announced the award of a monthly scholarship of ten rupees for 
one year to two successful students in the science of Hadith and Arabic 
literature. • 


Maulana Zulfiqar AM (august father of the Shaikh al-Hind) was one 
of those elders who had participated from the very beginning in the 
founding and establishing of the Dar al-Ulum. After its establishment 
he remained a member of its Majlis-e Shura throughout his life. The 
treasury of the Dar al-Ulum used to be under his charge— a service that 
he used to render with utmost trustworthiness and honesty. He was a 
peerless man in knowledge and accomplishment, religiosity, worldly 
dignity and affability. He had prosecuted his studies in the Delhi College 
and was a pupil of the teacher of teachers, Maulana Mamluk Ali Nana- 
utavi. He was holding the post of deputy inspector iri the educational 
department. He had a special aptitude for Arabic literature; accord- 
ingly, the Urdu translation and commentaries of Divan-e Himasa, Divan-e 
Mutanabbi, Sab'a Mu'aliaqa and Qasidt;-e Bant Sa'ad that he produced 
are very popular. His Taikirat al-BalaghaJ on the art of rhetorics is a 
famous work. 

He went to glory on 15th Rajab, A.H. 1322, at the ripe old age of 
85 years To indicate his grave the following couplet by Maulana Fazl 
al-Rahman Usmani is very interesting s— 

"Yes, sleep comfortably between your own two friends — Qasim 1 of the 
assembly of affection and Ahsan 2 of decent habits. 


Maulana Zulfiqar Ali had passed away only the year before. As yet 
the year had not come to an end when on Friday, 8th Jamadi al-Akhir, 
A.H. 1323, came Hazrat Gangohi's end 5 ',- at the age of 78 years; after a 
few days of sickness. Next to Hazrat Nanautavi's death this was the sad- 
dest incident in the Dar al-Ulum which has been expressed in the report 
in the following words:— 

'The late Maulana was a unique pearl of the same mother of pearls 
from which noble gems like Hazrat Maulana Qasim Nanautavi, etc., had 

1. Hazrat Nanautavi. 

2. Maulana Ahsan Nanautavi. 

3. Ftudad, A.H. 1322, last page. 


emerged. The late Maulana, by virtue of his liberal being, had taken the 
Madrasah of Deoband to that apogee of progress the example of which 
is hardly available today anywhere. Not only he has died today; rather, 
as though, all the great ones of the Madrasah of Deoband like Hazrat 
Maulana Muhammad Qasim, etc. whose deaths the Muslims had let slip 
off their memories due to the boon of the Mauiana's existence, have also 
died- Hence it is but little howevermuch the Muslims may feel concerned 
about the madrasah of Deoband". 1 

After Hazrat Ncnautavi's demise the members cf the Dar al-Ulum had 
unanimously elected the lauded Maulana to be the patron and referee 
(marj'a al-asnrj of the Dar al-Ulum and his dealing with the Dar al-Ulum 
remained exactly like that of Hazrat Nanautavi. Very often, at the time 
of the annual examinations and distribution of prizes, he used to come 
to Deoband and would hand over the prizes to the successful candidates 
with his own auspicious hand and also wrap the turban around their heads. 

Hazrat Gangohi was one of those old type ulema whose teaching work 
was independent of service c;nd stipends. He used to live in Shaikh Abd 
al-Quddus Gangohi's (Allah's mercy be on him!) hospice. Along with a 
coterie of those who stayed with him for self-purgation and heart-clean- 
sing, a host of students too used 1o be present. He had had an uncom- 
mon predilection especially for Hadith. His speech used to be very com- 
prehensive and brief an idea of which con be had from that speech which 
has been published under the title Nafh al-Shazzi 2 . Amongst the gradu- 
ates of the Dar al-Ulum those who attended Hazrat Gangohi's lectures and 
benefitted therefrom include such incomparable ulema of the time tike 
Allcmah Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri. 


The eiders of the Dar al-Ulum, from the very beginning of its function- 
ing, had made it a practice to hold every year in the month of Sha'ban 
a function for prize-distribution following the annual examinations to 
which, besides the students, local and outside people were also invited. 
The aim and purpose of this function was to present in a general gather- 
ing the results of the yearly labour and efforts of the teachers and the 

1. Hakim al-Ummat Maulana Ashraf All Thanvi, talking about Hazrat Gangohi, ssid • 
"God is greatest! He had great dignity and was very taciturn. Although usu- 
ally the speech of people who are taciturn is very brief and ambiguous, when- 
ever the Maulana, despite his inherent reticense, spoke, his speech used to 
be very clear, high-toned and adequate and salutary. God Most High had 
created Hazrat Maulana perfect in every respect. I never saw any man of 
such habits and attributes". Al-Furqan. Lucknow, July 1979, p. 39. (Translator). 


taught so as to encourage the successful candidates by their getting reward 
and stimulate the unsuccessful ones to work hard and eagerly. The other 
purpose was to let the community, particularly the donors, see and know 
for themselves the use of their donations and be satisfied personally how 
far the Dar al-Ulum could succeed as regards that generation and money 
which ihey had entrusted to the Dar al-Ulum. Accordingly, such functions 
for prize-distribution hove continued to be held every year in tho Dar al- 
Ulum, but sometimes on a large scale, inviting people from far off places 
also. The earliest function of this kind was held in A.H. 1290, second in 
A.H. 1292, third in A.H. 1293 and fourth in A.H. 1301. This year it was 
the fifth function and grander than all the functions held so far. Besides 
the residents of the vicinage, many Muslims from Aligarh, Moradabad, 
Shahjahanpur, Bareilly, Lahore, Bhopal, etc. also attended it. Representa- 
tives of the Begum of Bhopal had also come. The guests were accom- 
modated in the houses of the Dar al-Ulum and the town, and the residents 
of Deoband as usual took greater port and interest in looking nfter the 
comforts of and hospitality to the guests. 

In the function a report of its performance was submitted by the ma- 
nagement, and Shaikh al-Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan {Allah's mercy be 
on him!) read out his poem in which he has depicted the academic condi- 
tion before and after the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum in a very effec- 
tive manner. A paraphrastic translation of some of the couplets of this 
poem is as under ;— 

• I- It is a thing of yesterday only that wherever you would cast 
your glance you saw thick clouds of ignorance covering the 
whole world. 

2. Knowledge had become hidden, like the water of life; the dark- 
ness of ignorance had made the people deaf and blind. 

3. The box of breast alone was the preserver of knowledge; there 
was neither a patron and sympathiser nor any companion. 

4. When divine mercy became a protector, suddenly arose some 
men of Allah, aligned and challenging. 

5. Having collected a few dirhoms through sincerity, they became 
the buyers of the Joseph of religious knowledge. 

6. In the name of Allah they broke the ground, fakir-like, at Kor- 
dah, where high-spirited men are sitting now 


7. Eagerness was saying: "Proceed"! Weakness was saying: 
"Pause"! In what a strange strait, — how we may say it — 
was the breath of the infirm- 

8. Meanwhile we beheld that a man of Allah was coming swiftly 
with a banner. 

9. What an awfully invigorating glonce it was : the moment it fell, 
the sou! revived, the breath returned. 

10. Somewhat uncommon was the elegance of this man of purity; 
something wonderful was about the vigour and stamina of this 
Iron of Allah! 

11. Planting the banner he gave such a call that all at once the de- 
nizens of the earth and the occupants of the tents were startled. 

12. Was it his voice or Khali! Allah's call? Uttering "I'm present", 
set out all the people of Araby and non-Araby. 

13. Girding up the waist tightly and saying "we are with you", all 

followed him, making their heads their feet (i e., most willingly). 

14. By the Messiah-like miracle of this trcriner of heart and soul, 
knowledge of religion came to life and ignorance took the road 

to annihilation. 

15. The cloud of knowledge, the nimbus of action and iearning rain- 
ed wherever the footprint of that ocean of mercy fell. 

16. He irrigated the world with the wealth of knowledge, Why 
should not then his banner be called ihe Distributor (Qasim) of 



17. His voice was indeed the sound of Jesus's "Rise up"! wherefore 
knowledge took another birth. 

18. Then there was no looking back.' Allah gave it such progress 
which you can see for yourself — what must we say with our 

19. He bore all sorts of troubles but never puckered his forehead; 
he encountered difficulties but never flinched his step from its 


(In ihe last couplet he (the Shaikh al-Hind) advises the sympathisers & 
the Dar al-Ulum to extend help) s— 

20. Keep following, and da not give up effort — through word of 
mouth or money or physical exertion or pen. 


In A,H. 1324, the then vice-chancellor, Maulana Hafiz Muhammad 
Ahmed prepared a grand scheme to increase the finances of the Dar or 
Ulum and develop it on a large scale. But this required the assistance 
and services of such a man in the management who should be learned, 
of sound judgement, vigilant and having first class administrative capacity, 
eo as to help in making the scheme fruitful and share ths administrative 
affairs with the management. The Maj!is-e Shura, at the request of the 
management, selected Hazrat Maulana Habib al-Rahman Usmani, the eldest 
son of Hazrat Maulana Fazl al-Rahman, who was well-endowed with all 
the qualities necessary for this post. 


Prior to the present building of the library, the library was located in 
the rooms, near the Nav-darah in the south, but due to the daily addition 
of books this building had become inadequate and hence the need for a 
vast building was being felt very acutely for the last several years. Amongst 
the sympathisers of the Dar al-Ulum, Nawab Yusuf Aii Khan, Ihe ruler of 
Mendhu, paid attention to this important requirement and donated a va- 
luable sum of seven thousand rupees for constructing a library-building, 
which, after completion, had come fo be known as "Kutub-Khana-e Yusufi", 
a name that remained current for a long time. Next to the lauded Nawab 
some charitable persons of Meerut also took part in the construction of 
this library-building The foundation-stone for it was laid on 2nd Safar 
al-Muzaffar, A.H- 1324, in the presence of a large gathering. This is a 
two-storeyed building; on the ground floor are located ihe craft-workshop, 
etc. and the library in the upper storey in which cupboards have been 
arranged from floor to the ceiling. 


In this year many sympathisers of the Dar al-Ulum passed away. 
Nawab Yusuf Ali Khan, ruler of Mendhu, was an old sympathiser and a 
sincere helper of the Dar al-Ulum. Like his august father (Nawab Mah- 
mud Ali Khan) he always used to help the Dar al-Ulum with large sums 


of money. Accordingly, he had donated seven thousand rupees the year 
before only for the library building. During his terminal sickness, in the 
property he had endowed he had specified a fair portion of it for the 
Dar al-Ulum. He had had the honour of having paid allegiance to Shaikh 
ai-Masha'ikh Hazrot Haji Imdad Allah. He passed away in Rabi al-Awwal, 
A.H. 1325. 

(2) Maulana Muhcmmad Yasin Sherkoti, a teacher in the Dar al- 
Ulum, was a great scholar of astronomy and mathematics. He had had 
an exceptional skill in constructing astronomical instruments. While feturrr 
ing from pilgrimage, he died at Jeddah. 

(3) Haji Zuhur al-Din Deobandi also paid the debt of nature this very 
year. He was one of the sincere attendants of Hazrat Nanautavi, and 
by virtue of his serious nature and sound disposition was counted among 
chosen and distinguished people. He was a member of the Majlis-e 
Shura in A.H. 1311. 

{4} These wounds had hardly healed ye! when on Saturday, 3rd. 
Jamadi al-Ula, A.H. 1325, Maulana Fazl al-Rahman, who was a participa- 
tor in the founding of the madrasah, undertook the journey to the Here- 
after It is stated in the report for the year A.H. 1324:— 

"Maulana Fazl al-Rahman was one of those hallowed members at 
whose hands the madrasah had begun. All his life was spent in the ser- 
vice of the madrasah and its supervision, devotedness and well-being; and 
in every condition he was always active with heart and sou! in the affairs 
of the madrasah, making efforts with assiduity. In the affairs of the mad- 
rasah he always worked with scrupulosity, integrity, honesty and farsigh- 
tedness". -' 

He had prosecuted his studies under the teacher of teachers, Maulana 
Mamluk Ali at Delhi College. He had had special mastery in literature 
and very high proficiency in Persian; his Arabic and Persian poems and 
prose used to be very chaste and vigorous. He had a special knack of 
composing poetic chronograms. In his early life he had vowed allegiance 
to a saintly man; in the end he had joined the circle of allegiance to 
Hozrat Gangohi. He remained a member of the Majlis Shura for 42 years. 


Till now there was no mosque in the compound of the Dar al-Ulum; 
the students used to say prayers in the mosques in the neighbourhood. Be- 


sides loss of time, the students also had to face certain difficulties. Over and 
above this, the position of the Dar ai-Ulurn itself demanded that a mosque 
should be there on its own campus. This proposal was before the ma- 
nagement for long Accordingly, in A.H. 1316, along with the proposed 
map for the construction of the Students' Hostel, this important need had 
also been announced. But according to "All matters depend on times", 
this could not come to pass so far, when in Rajab, A.H. 1325, a charitable 
man of Meerut, Haji Fasih a!-Din, took the lead and offered one and a half 
thousand rupees for the primary needs with which a plot of land was 
bought for the mosque to the north of the main gate. 


Hyderabad, which, in patronising art and knowledge, had revived the 
memory of our old kings, turned lis attention to the Dar al-Ulum in A.H. 
13'05; initially it had begun to help the Dar al-Ulum with a monthly dona- 
tion of one hundred rupees, but then increased it by twenty-five rupees in 
the past and in the current year doubled this contribution. 

Similarly the contribution from Bhopal loo was sufficiently augmented. 
In the beginning it was six hundred rupees per annum. First an addition 
of Rs- 200/- annually was made but within a few months, after Ramazan, 
A.H. 1327, its amount was made Rs. 3,000/- per annum. 


Maulavi Raheem Bakhsh, president of the Bhawalpur state was one 
of the special helpers of the Dar al-Ulum. It seems apt that an excerpt of 
the view he expressed after inspecting the Dar al-Ulum may be reproduced 
below. He says :— 

"Today I inspected the Arabic College of Deoband and from whatever 
I saw I was fully satisfied with it. In India at present there are many 
schools and colleges in which Arabic alone is taught according to the old 
method, but in many things this college has had no parallel. In proof of 
this 1 wish that, casting a deep glance on the past history of this college, 
1 state briefly some famous events concerning it. 

"This college is the outcome of the efforts of great thinkers and sacred 
persons of India and the objective of it is to protect and preserve in India 
those aims and gains of the pure method (rr-.azhab) of the Ahl-e Sunnah 
wal- Jama'ah about which there had been for years a strong apprehen^ 


sion externally and internally of their decline. The subjects that are taught 
in this college are of different kinds. The total period of education in this 
college which includes dictation, grammar, prosody, philosophy, iogic, his- 
tory, scholastic theology, jurisprudence, mathematics, religious law, theo- 
logy and every idea! and intellectual science, is eight years. Though all 
these subjects are mutually different, there is a special object common to 
them ail : that is, ail these subjects are taught through the medium of the 
Arabic language the great purpose of which is that the students may ac- 
quire sufficient proficiency in Arabic and thereafter they may acquire power 
in intellectual teaching and learning, the law of the Shari'ah and religion. 
In fact these subjects have been made a means of imparting education in 
the religion of Islam to a perfect degree because this college has been 
founded primarily to impart pure religious education only. 

"There is no other such fortunate college in India in which there may 
.be such a large strength of students and so good a condition of education 
as it is found in the Deoband Madrasah. All ihe preachers and professors 
are among the holy and wise Muslims of India and are a relic of the past 
times; a large number of Muslims in and outside India accept their deci- 
sions and fetwas in religious matters without hesitation. The fame of these 
people, particularly of Maulano Mahmud Hasan, is not confined to India 
only; one of the reasons, inter alia, is also this that has made this college 
famous among ihe followers of Islam in ail parts of the world. At pre- 
sent 350 students are receiving education; most of them reside in the 
boarding-house and the college is responsible for their expenses, and this 
expenditure, in view of its income, is not small. Students come here from 
other provinces and foreign countries in droves; this thing makes it obvi- 
ous that the college suffices for their needs, and this matter is a cause 
cf pride net only for the Muslims of India but also for the English govern- 
ment, because this is a famous and beneficial college in the country. The 
students who go out of this college after taking a degree are looked upon 
with respect and esteem in their society or social group, and, having ac- 
quired a high rank, they quickly become the guide and leader of a large 
group of their followers, and every Muslim hears their opinion with res- 
pect and consideration. Thus they can bring round many groups to one 
opinion. The scarcity of livelihood for their own selves is rarely encoun- 
tered by them; these people can easily be absorbed in the government's 
educational department. 

"As I have already stated, the education of this madrasah, in accord- 
ance with the old times and the oriental style, is purely religious. The 
buildings are neat, clean and very beautiful. But, besides the buildings, 
there are other necessities also and hence the college has an urgent need 



of more help and money so that if may be developed further according to 
the present needs. I very gladly add my name to the list of the donors 
of this madrasah by donating one thousand rupees". 


The buying of the land for ihe mosque of the Dar al-Ulum has already 
been mentioned in ihe particulars of A.H. 1325. This year a charitable 
merchant of Rander (Dist. Surat, Gujarat), Haji Ghulam Muhammad Azam, 
as per the estimated cost of the mosque, donated nineteen thousand rupees. 
So the foundation-stone was laid on 4th Rabi a!-Awwal A.H. 1327. About 
this laying of the foundation-stone it is staled in the report :— 

"The religious elders laid the foundation-stone in the presence of a 
common gathering of sludenls and then every student laid bricks with his 
own hands. The studenls not only laid the bricks but they also filled 
the foundation of this wall which was very deep. Along with the students 
all the teachers and members of the madrasah were bringing bricks on 
their heads and hands with great zest and eagerness and were themselves 
laying them instead of the masons. Hazrat Maulana Mas'ud Ahmed, 
eldest son of Hazrat Maulana i?asheed Ahmed Gangohi, Maulana Shah Abd 
al-Raheem Raipuri, Maulana Mahmud Hasan, dean, and Hazrat Maulana 
Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed were also participating with the students in 
bringing mud and bricks, Glory be to Allah! The students' engrossment 
with a delightful fervour in the KhaSil Allah's sunnah (practice) and their 
reciting therewith martial verses and Hazrat Ibrahim Khalil Allah's invo- 
cations that he had made at the time of constructing the House of Allah 
— it was a wonderfully impressive scene and thrilling time. The founda- 
tion of the eastern wail was filled up by Hazrat Maulana Khali! Ahmed, 
Hazrat Maulana Ashrctf Ali, Hazrat Hatlz Qamar al-Din, Hazrat Maulana 
Ahmed Rampuri, Mauiana Sa'eed al-Din, Maulana Abd al-Haq Pur Qazwi, 
Maulana Zuhur Ali, agent of the Bhopa! state, with their own auspicious 
hands. In short, at this time, it was a very fine gathering of the ulema 
and the pious. "Praise be to Allah for all such works"! 

Two storeys of the mosque are roofed. The external eastern wall is 
of stone in which there is delicate scratch-work. The minarets too have 
been built intaglioed stones. At the end of the courtyard there is a 
stone-tank. An inscribed slab of marble is fixed on the front portion 
on which the following verses composed by Shaikh al-Hind Maulana Mah- 
mud Hasan have been carved : 

A mosque was built in the Madrasah; this glad tiding ! heard from 


friends. As I reached its courtyard I read the Greatest Name on the 
tablet of its forehead. When I glided into prostration for thanksgiving, 
there came into my ears a note : 'Worship and knowledge became con- 
tiguous" ! In the Madrasah I saw a hospice. 1 


Allahmah Muhammad Anwar Shah Kahsmiri and Maulana Husain 
Ahmed Madani who had prosecuted their studies in the Dar al-Ulum in 
the past offered their services for teaching for a few years on an hono- 
rary basis. So, as per their desire, teaching work was assigned to both 
of them. Hazrat Maulana Madani, in the past few years, had taught 
in the Prophet's Mosque whereby his personality hod acquired much grace. 


According to Maulana Ubayd Allah Sindhi's movement an organiza- 
tion of the scholars of the Dar al-Ulu-n was established under the name 
"Al-Ansar 2 " on 27th Ramazan al-Mubarak, A.H. 1 327. J The most important 
aim among the aims for which it had been established was to publi- 
cise, make current and universalize the effects of the Dar al-Ulum; besides 
this, financial help and co-operation were also included in its aims. In 
A.H. 1329 the Jamia'at ahAnsar held a grand function under the title 
"Mutamar al-Ansar" at Moradcbad, and not much time had passed when 
branches of the Jamai'at al-Ansar were established in the country here and 
there under the name of Qasim al-Ma'arif. It has been shown in the 
aims and objectives of the Jami'at al-Ansar that the objective of this orga- 
nization is to support and defend the aims and purposes of the lofty mad- 
rasah of Deoband and to publicize and make current its sacred influence. 
It is stated :— . 

"The currency and propagation of the influence of the madrasah 
consists in the authentic meanings of the Word of Allah and the prophe- 
tic Hadith and Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim's academic disquisitions 
by publishing and disseminating which everywhere in the world many 
purposes can be achieved. I believe that the doubts which are now 
being created by modern philosophy have been removed by Maulana 
Muhammad Qasim long ago. Modern scholastic theology for us is this 
only that we read the late Maulana's compilations with the same inquiry 

1. The last half-verse is a chronogram, giving the date A.H. 1328. These verses 

are in Persian. (Translator). 
1. For details, vide Rudad-e Jami'at al-Ansar, A.H. 1327, Rifah-e Am Press 

Lahore, pp. 2-3. 


friends. As I reached its courtyard I read the Greatest Name on the 
tablet of its forehead. When i glided into prostration for thanksgiving, 
there came into my ears a note : "Worship and knowledge became con- 
tiguous" ! In the Madrasah I sav/ a hospice. 1 


Allahmqh Muhammad Anwar Shah Kahsmiri and Maulana Husain 
Ahmed Madanr who had proseculed their studies in the Dar al-Ulutn in 
the past offered their services for teaching for a few years on an hono- 
rary basis. So, as per their desire, leaching work was assigned to both 
of them. Hazrat Maulana Wadani, in the past few years, had taught 
in the Prophet's Mosque whereby his personality had acquired much grace. 


According to Maulana Ubayd Allah Sindhi's movement an organiza- 
tion of the scholars of the Dar al-Ulu-vi was established under the name 
"Al-Ansar 2 " on 27th Ramazan al-Mubarak, A.H. 1327. J The most important 
aim among the aims for which it had been established was to publi- 
cise, make current and universalize the effects of the Dar al-Ulum; besides 
this, financial help and co-operation were also included in its aims. In 
A.H. 1329 the Jamia'at al-Ansar held a grand function under the title 
"Mutamar al-Ansar" at Moradcbad, and not much time had passed when 
branches of the Jamai'at al-Ansar were established in the country here and 
there under the name of Qasim al"Ma'arif. It has been shown in the 
aims and objectives of the Jami'af al-Ansar that the objective of this orga- 
nization is to support and defend the aims and purposes of the lofty mad- 
rasah of Deoband and to publicize and make current its sacred influence. 
It is stated ; — 

"The currency and propagation of the influence of the madrasah 
consists in the authentic meanings of the Word of Allah and the prophe- 
tic Hadith and Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim's academic disquisitions 
by publishing and disseminating which everywhere in the world many 
purposes can be achieved. I believe that the doubts which are now 
being created by modern philosophy have been removed by Maulana 
Muhammad Qasim long ago. Modern scholastic theology for us is this 
only that we read the late Maulana's compilations with the same inquiry 

1. The last half-verse is a chronogram, giving the date A.H. 1328. These verses 

are in Persian. (Translator). 
1. For details, vide Rudad-e Jami'at al-Ansar, A.H. 1327, Rifah-e Am Press 

Lahore, pp. 2-3. 


and consideration with which we read books of philosophy and logic. It 
is our experience that whenever the late Maulana's researches were put 
before any philosopher, he was satisfied and everything said by the Mau- 
,lana instilled into his heart fully. To serve Islam through the Maulana's) 
researches shall be incumbent upon the Jarni'at". 1 

Besides this many other great and important academic objectives were 
in view of the Jarni'at al-Ansar the details of which are mentioned in the 
reports of the Dar al-Ulum and the Jarni'at itself. But the cup of life of 
the Jarni'at was soon overbrimmed by the unforeseen happenings of the 
world and that dream which it had seen as regards the good and deve- 
lopment of the Dar al-Ulum could not be realised. 


Conferring of turbans on successful graduates is a time-honoured prac- 
tice of the Arabic madrasahs. Accordingly, its mention has foregone in 
the annals of ihe earlier years. But after A.H. 1301 such happenings had 
to be faced continuously that no such function could be held for 26 years. 
This year (A.H. 1327"., as a compensation for the previous years, a con- 
vocation was held on a very grand scale on 6th, 7th and 8th of Rabi 
al-Akhir. An example of such a huge gathering will be hardly met with 
in the annals of the Arabic madrasahs in India, The magnitude of this 
function can be assessed from this thing only that the number of those 
who came to attend it from outside was more than thirty thousand, includ- 
ing people of every strata of Muslim society and from every region of the 
country. The number of those who came on foot from the villages and 
hamfels of the vicinity is not included therein. It says in the report : 
"The example of that cheerfulness and joy with which came the people 
from far and near to gather here and theimpression they carried back in 
their hearts is difficult to be met with. From the ulema, noblemen, and 
high-ranking officers to low peasants and ordinary labourers, all were 
steeped in the same colour; no one had any sense of superiority and ex- 
cellence over the other. The seats for all in the function were similar. 
All the people looked pleased with the beneficial sermons, impressed with 
the effective panorama and enamoured of this heart-alluring spectacle. The 
descent of spiritual blessings and miracles also was so manifest that even 
the insensitive too could not but sense it. 

"A peculiar Islamic grandeur was evident in the function. Towards 
the western side of the Dar al-Ulum, on the banks of the pond, there had 
spread a long series of tents. Rows upon rows of men used to stand for 
prayers in a plain in front of the tents and at nights the jungle would 
resound with the sounds of zikr and shaghl (remembrance and reciiation 

1. Rudad-e Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, A.H. 1328, p. 21. 


of Divine Names) and every man used to feel baraka (blessing) and spiri- 
tual joy. Some virtuous men, during the course of the function, saw the 
Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him !) in dream, 
shaking hands with those who had come lo attend the function. Prior 
to and during the course of the function countless such dreams were seen 
by the people. An august man who used to keep off the people and did 
not like to talk with anyone came to Deoband just before the function, 
and kept looking at everything of the function very minutely. He always 
used to walk away from one place to another very earnestly, and he 
went away as soon as ithe function was over. The people are of the 
opinion that he had been spiritually appointed to serve the function". 

An ordinary miracle that has been stated about this gathering is 
that not a single untoward and unpleasant incident occurred in such a huge 
multitude nor anyone had an occasion to complain against any loss or 
theft of his goods. 1 Everyone used io get food on time, arranged free 
of charge by the Dar al-Ulum, 

The rector of the Dar al-Ulum on this occasion of the convocation 
was Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed. For this occasion he had written 
a long address entitled "Dar al-Ulum Ka Zarrin Mazi Aur Mustaqbil" ("The 
Golden Past & Future of the Dar al-Ulum"), in which the establishment of. 
the Dar al-Ulum and its services have been described at length and, com- 
paring the income and expenditure of 45 years, it has been shown that 
the greaiest feat at which the Madrasah-e Islamia, Deoband, can take 
pride not unjustifiable is that it spent the Muslims' money rightly and well. 
At a small expense it accomplished such a work which would not have 
been possible at any other place even at a tenfold expenditure. Just 
think that in a course of 45 years the total of all kinds of expenses of 
the madrasah which include everything, buildings, mosque, library, pur- 
chase of books, prizes io students, etc., comes to only a sum of three lakh 
three hundred fifty-three rupees (Rs. 3,00,353). If eighty thousand rupees 
spent on construction-work is separated from this total and the cost of 
ten thousand books which is approximately twenty thousand rupees is 
excluded, then, os though, a sum of two lakh rupees only was spent on 
education. Now when we distribute these two lakhs of rupees over one 
thousand students who were benefitted, it comes to two hundred rupees 
per student. Allah is Greatest! What an encouraging result it is that 
only in two hundred rupees is produced an accomplished religious divine 
who may be a teacher as well as a mufti, a preacher and sermoniser as 
well as a man learned in both the traditional and rational disciplines! 
This is real success. But if it is also considered that with this much amount 

1. People used to go out from their lodgings leaving their trunks unlocked but the 
functionaries used to discharge their duty with a sense of responsibility. 


not only orje thousand divines were turned out but several hundred hafizes 

zes were also produced, that hundreds of students learnt the art of can~ 
tillation and orthoepy, thousands of inquirers of fetwas continued to re- 
ceive replies, countless students acquired some benefit and went away 
before completing their studies, and hundreds of the inhabitants of Deo- 
band had had the facility of studying Persian and mathematics, and all 
this within the same expense, then the average expense per head comes 
down still more! 1 


From the very inception of the Dar a!-Ulum the arrangement for 
feeding the outside students was such that the meais of some of the stu- 
dents used to be fixed in the town. The townspeople, as per their capa- 
city, used to take upon themselves the responsibility of feeding the students 
in ones or twos. Some students were given a cash stipend from the Dar 
al-Ulum to make their own arrangement. This second form was very 
inconvenient and embarrassing for the students, Hence it was being felt 
intensely for a long time that the students instead of cash stipends should 
be given cooked food. In this connection, for the past few years, grains 
had also begun to come as contribution from the neighbouring districts. 
So, in Muharrcrn, A.H. 1328, a kitchen was opened. Thus not only those 
students who used to get cash stipends were convenienced but those stu- 
dents also who had to fend for themselves for food were also afforded a 
great facility as now they could arrange for food very conveniently on 
payment from the kitchen from where they could get better food and 
most economically at scheduled times. 


One of the important objectives in the establishment of the Dar al- 
Ulum was the preaching and dissemination of Islam, as also its, protection 
and defence. As such, it was being put into practice from the very in- 
ception, but so far this work was free from formal restrictions and regu- 
lations and its sphere was limited to "assertive" preaching 2 among the 
Muslims only The teachers and students of the Dar al-Ulum, as per need 
and as far as they could afford, used to discharge this service volunta- 
rily. In A.H. 1325 when the unusual aggressive activities of the militant 
Arya Samaj increased, it became necessary to establish a separate de- 

f, Madrasah-e islamia, Deoband, Ka Zarrin Mazi Aur Mustaqbil, p. 30, 

2. It is an official technical term of the Dar al-Ulum. When the preachers are 
called anywhere for preaching, the journey is called "Da'wati Safar" ("Journey 
for Preaching") and when need is felt for preaching anywhere and the prea- 
chers undertake the journey voluntarily for it, it is called "assertive journey" 
or "assertive preaching". (Translator) 


partment for preaching and to widen its scope and sphere to the neces- 
sary limits. Besides this, in the Dar al-Ulum itself such students may be 
prepared who, besides preaching and exhorting, may be able to contend 
adequately with the adversaries and antagonists through lecturing and 
polemising. Accordingly, the department of preaching was started for 
the comparative study of religions and for a long term scholars of Sans- 
ktit were also appointed as teachers in this department. 


Even as the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has had the honour and distinc- 
tion of being the first teaching institution in India established through 
common donations of Muslims right in the nick of time when religious 
knowledge was going downhill, it has also had this distinction of prece- 
dence and superiority that the Dar al-Hadith of the Dar al-Ulum is the first- 
ever building to have come into existence with this name. There is no 
doubt about it that during the Islamic period in India madrasahs dotted 
every region in the country and every particle of this land was shining 
with the light of knowledge, but notwithstanding this excess and abun- 
dance of madrasahs, no building had ever been built in India with the 
name of Dar al-Hadith — exclusively for teaching Hadith — ere this. This 
was the first-ever occasion in this country that a decision was taken to 
build a big building for this purpose only. 

At the time of laying down its foundation-stone in the campus of 
the Dar al-Ulum, a general function was held on 20th Rabi al-Awwal, 
A.H. 1330, which was attended by a large number of people from different 
parts of the country. Instead of the labourers, the students themselves 
insistently, with great zeal and zest and in a rapturous manner, dug the 
foundation. Hazrat Thanvi, Hazrat Shaikh al-Hind, Hazrat Maulana 
Khali! Ahmed and Hazrat Maulana Abd al-Raheem (may Allah illuminate 
their graves!} jointly laid the foundation-stone. Hazrat Thanvi, addressing 
the gathering, said : "Let all of you lay two bricks each with your own 
hands. Who knows whose sincerity may be accepted in the Divine Court". 
As such, every one of the audience laid two bricks each. 



The sincere spirit, love, fervour and gusto of action displayed by 
the students in preparing the foundation of the Dar al-Hadith is such an 
event of their lives which cannot be forgotten easily. It says in the re- 
port for this year: "The foundation-stone had already been laid in the 

—j^ \^fyfi&>Mi&P \^^ 'imw&t&fvf ■&a&*>t&iif0*^r[ ( f _L^ .**«"* 



function of the Dar al-Hadith but to build the foundation it was necessary 
first to ram down the concrete; besides this, some more foundation had 
also to bs dug. Hardly had they poured down concrete and started beat- 
ing if when a heavy downpour with a squally rain-storm began beating 
down, flooding the nearby pond in a crack and inundating the founda- 
tions of the Dar al-Hadith too within minutes, because this plot of land 
was formerly a part of the pond itself and had been reclaimed only in 
A.H. 1328. As the earth in this reclaimed part had not solidified and 
hardened, it caved in and the condition of the foundation changed into 
a quagmirer. Besides this, as the water had reached the classes, it posed 
a danger to the buildings also. The situation, on the one hand, was 
such and, on the other, labourers had become scarce. Due to the in- 
cessancy of rain there was also no probability that the water would 
dry up within three, four days. To drain out the water the indigenous 
device of water-raising basket was used but very little water could be 
drained out in a whole day. At last, after the Asr prayer, the students 
girt up their waists, took up buckets and within the span of an hour 
they removed all the water to the pond. After the water had been drain- 
ed out it became known that still another severe difficulty had remained: 
there was standing half a man-size swamp in the foundation. Now the 
spectacle of the toil and moil of the students and the teachers was worth 
seeing. Several hundred students were toiling like a human conveyor : 
standing in rows and moving bucketfuls of slush briskly from hand to 
hand they were pouring it into the pond; they were reciting martial verses 
and everyone was trying to surpass the other. There was a pleasure of 
sorts in this contest and competition, because the students had divided 
themselves into two teams and had divided the work also half to half. 
The work which the labourers would have taken one month to finish 
was completed by the students In two days! The students also took part 
in beating the concrete This work too perhaps would not have been 
finished by masons and labourers in a month's time, but the students 
managed to carry the concrete, mortar and bricks so speedily to the site 
that the foundations were raised up within a week. In fine, holy and 
sacred as this building was. its foundation too was constructed by equally 
matching sincere hands and the students' wish that 'we will dig the foun- 
dation for the Dar al-Hadith', was fulfilled now with some extra work". 

The builders of the Dar al-Hadiths built in the past in the Islamic 
world were kings and monarchs. The peculiarity of this Dar al-Hadith 
is that the hands of the poor masses have been active in its construction 
and it is through their ordinary financial donations that this magnificent 
building has come into existence. 



Prior to the construction of the Dar al-Haclith different persons saw 
in dream that on the occasion of the construction of the Dar al-Hadith 
all the deceased elders of the' Dar al-Ulurn were present and were bring- 
ing the building-materials with their own hands and were busy in con- 
structing. During this period, one Sayyid Yusuf Aii, a resident of Sironj, 
was collecting funds in (the erslwhile) Tonk state for the Dar al-Hadith. 
He saw a very auspicious dream which is reproduced below in his own 
words. He writes :— 

Yesterday, after midnight, I saw in dream that I was going lo Tonk 
by train. Suddenly ihe train screeched to a halt in a palm-like (i.e., flat 
plain) desert place. A man came to me and said : "Get down! The Holy 
Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be on him!) is present here". I 
accompanied him with great eagerness. Ihen what I beheld was that at 
one place there were standing some houses of reeds and two, three 
tenfs. First I entered the reed-house. Some august men were sitting 
there. One of them who was somewhat far and a little sallow in comple- 
xion, with a sign of prostration on his forehead and the cloth-button 
unbuttoned and seme books of leather-binding lying before him, 1 said 
to me : "First go to the Holy Prophet's (Allah's peace and blessings be 
on him!) presence". I asked : "Will his holiness call me inside the tent"? 
"Yes", he replied. I saluted him and leached the auspicious tent- Now 
I don't remember whether there was curtain at the door or not. 1 was 
given audience. His holiness smilingly stretched his auspicious hands to- 
wards me. I took them into my hands, kissed them and went on weep- 
ing. I was ordered to sit down and I sat down. Then he laughed and 
asked ; "How much fund have you collected"? "Sixty-two rupees", I 
said. "To manage at Sironj is Zakariya's responsibility" he said. "He 
is my brother", 1 said. He explained : "The burden of this management 
Zakariya should undertake". Then he said-. Recite something". I recited 
the Sura-e Fatiha. He said : "Always recite the Quran correctly". 

There were two other gentlemen near his holiness. One of them 
was a young man of a fully commanding stature, handsome face, white- 
rosy complexion, beard reaching the chest and white and b!cc'< hair. 
The other was a tall, lean man whose features I have forgotten. 

Having narrated this dream, he has stated :— 

1, This description, according to Maulana Habib at Rahman's explanation, applies 
to Maulana Rati al-Din. Vide the Journal AI-Qasim, dated 2nd Zil-qa'da, 
A.H. 1329. 


Ere this twice 1 had had 1 he good fortune of seeing the Holy Prophet 
(Allah'si peace and blessings be on him!) in dream, but in his real auspi- 
cious face he appeared in this vision, or? the occasion of rny collecting 
funds for the Dar al-Hadith for which 1 am trying 1 . 


Afiamah Sayyid Rasheed Reza was an outstanding polymath of the 
world of islam, a matchless author, an illustrious penman, and ediior of 
the famous academic journal of Egypt, Al-Manar. Hs had had the honour 
of being the discip'e cf tg/pt's lenowned leader, Mufti Muhammad 
Abduh, and a large part of that thought and ijfehcid, quickness of psrce- 
ption and maturity of vision so characterstic of Mufti Abduh had corns to 
the share cf Sayyid Rasheed Rsfe. When he cume to India in Rajah, A.H. 
1330, he v/as exfended an invitation by the, Dar al-Ulum to make it con- 
venient fo pay a visit to it. The fate AlSamah honoured the invitation; 
he came and having seen the Dar al-Ulum and its distinctive^ peculiarities 
of education, its religious tack and the strong foundations of i!s knowledge 
and thought, expressed joy ana amazement. On this occasion, Allamah 
Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri delivered a long speech in Arabic in 
which hs explained the academic poMcy (maslek) ef the ulema of Deoband 
and their academic services. 

Maulana Habib a!-Rahman read out the address in Arabic, giving 
an introduction to the history of the Dar al-Ulum and the juridical tack 
of the group of the Dar al-U!um. In his speech the learned Sayyid 
said : "On account of the glorious and valuable services you are render- 
ing to knowledge and' religion you deserve mine and a!! the Muslims' 
thanks. I was very much pleased to see this Dar al-Ulum. I assure 
you, gentlemen, that had I not seen the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, I would 
have returned as a sad man from India. 

"Whatever I had heard about this madrasah so far, I actually found 
it to be. much more than it. I like very much and sincerely concur with 
the principles and the <cck of his Shaikhs the great crofessor, Maulana 
Anwar Shah, has described and pointed out to me. The Hanofite fiqh, 
no doubt, is sufficient and perfect". 

The learned* Sayyid was very much impressed by the simple life and 
the academic services of the ulema of Deoband; this can be assessed 
from that opinion of his he has expressed in his preface to Miftah-e 
Kanuz al-Sunnah. He says -. — 

1. Al-Qasim, p. 2, Ziqada, A.H, 1325 


"If the attention of our brethren the Indian divines had not been 
lavished on the science of Hadith in that period, then this science would 
have faded out of existence from the eastern countries, because, from the 
tenth to the beginning of the fourteenth century h f [ r i , this science had 
reached the last stage of decay in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Hejaz". 1 


There is no need whatsoever to mention here the relation and 
sincerity the Indian Muslims have cherished for lha Ottoman (Usmania) 
caliphate. The honour of Islam and the arrangement for guarding and 
serving the two qiblahs (Palestine & Mecca; were related to the existence 
of the caliphate. It is obvious how much the Muslim world could have 
become uneasy and agitated if the Ottoman empire were to be beleagured 
in' a severe aggression, causing apprehension of detraction of its great- 
ness and glory or the two holiest of the holy sanctuaries of Islam were 
to be exposed to jeopardy. The ■ wounds inflicted in the hearts of the 
Muslims by the incidents at Tripoli had not yet healed when the bloody 
war of Balkan produced another heart-rending and calamitous spectacle 
before the world. When the unbearable and tragic incidents and 
afflictions concerning the Turkish victims of oppression, the wounded and 
the refugees came to be known through newspapers as to how thousands 
of Muslimj men and women, the young and the old, were falling a prey 
to cold, starvation and various other tyrannies and troubles, a strong 
wave of distress and anxiety ran throughout the Muslim world. Due to 
this wretched and pitiable condition of the helpless and oppressed 
Muslims emotions began to run high, sentiments of sympathy were 
stirred and Islamic zeal boiled up in the Muslims wherever and in which- 
ever country they happened to be. As such they took up the gauntlet 
to make all possible efforts to help and support the wounded, the 
refugees and the afflicted and starving Muslims of Turkey. The Indian 
Muslims were in the forefront of this line of action. Here the Dar al- 
Ulum rendered this service in its peculiar tradition : fetwas and posters 
printed in millions were sent to every nook and corner of the country. 
The teachers and the students of the Dar al-Ulum toured all over the 
country to explain the importance of this help at public functions and thus 
spread the co-operative movement and sentiments throughout the country, 
with the result that societies to help and support the Red Crescent 
Society came up everywhere, collected lakhs of rupees and remitted to 
the latter. The students themselves gave proof of their national concern 
and fervency of action : as in A.H. 1293 and 1294, they sent the full 

1. Muqaddama-e Miftah-e! Kanuz al-Sunnah, p. 'Q'. 


amount of prize-books to ihe R.C.S.; more than this, they contributed 
even things of essential needs. Besides this money, funds were coll- 
ected through the efforts of these young men. From their personal con- 
tributions and other gifts a pretty large sum of sixty-five thousand rupees 
was remitted through the Dar al-USum. 


To impart and convey the knowledge, sciences and subjects of the 
ulema of Deoband to common Muslims and to enlighten the masses with 
the authentic beliefs and propositions of religion o monthly journal, 
entitled "Al-Qasim" after the founder of the Dar al-Ulum, was started 
in A.H. 1331 under the supervision of Maulana Habib al-Rahman and 
other senior ulema. Besides publishing academic and historical articles, 
the Al-Qctsim was also a great means of introducing the objectives of the 
Dar at-Ulum and its religious and academic services to the common 
Muslims, and hence it should have been started by the Dar al-Ulum 
itself. But'to save it from the initial expenses, Maulana Habib al-Rahman 
went on publishing it at his own expense as long as its financial con- 
dition did not become satisfactory. At the time the Al-Qasim: was 
started, there was no arrangement of printing a! Deoband. As such, 
the first issue was printed at Ahmedi Press, 1 Aligarh, but when gradually 
this difficulty was overcome and the Al-Qasim stood on its own legs, it 
was attached to the Dar al-Ulum. 

Usually every ar.icle published in Al-Qasim used to be in itself 
useful, informative and important but a series of articles by Maulana 
Habib al-Rahman, especially entitled "Dunya men Islam kionker Phela"? 
{"How Did Islam Spread in the World"?), commands a distinguished 
position. This long series continued in the Al-Qasim for a long time. 
After ihe learned Mauiana's death it has been published in book form 
entitled "Isha'at-e Islam" ("The Spread of Islam"). Its usefulness and 
general popularity can be estimated from the fact that tnspite of its 
being incomplete it has run into several editions. 


The efforts which the Dar al-Ulum, overlooking its own interests, 
had put in altruistically last year in sending funds for the oppressed 
Muslims of Turkey were bound to affect the finances of the Dar ai-Ulum 

1. This press in Aligarh was owned by Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Anbathvi, real 
brother of Maulana Muhaddith Khalil Ahmed Anbathvi Saharanpuri. 


adversely. Consequently, seven, eight months in the current year passed 
in great difficulties, trial and ordeal. But thank Allah, the Dar al-Ulum 
succeeded in turning the corner, the condition changed for the belter and 
at the end of the year though the revenue in contrast to the expenditure 
was less, it caused no hindrance in the working of the Dar al-U!um. Till 
date Rs.250/- p. m. used to ccme from the Asafyah State but from the 
Ramazan al-Mubarak of this year the said sum was doubled, 


As usual the administration of all the departments of the Dar al-Ulum, 
of education, organisation of functions, library, kitchen, building-work, etc., 
continued in the same good old manner; though some ordinary snags did 
retard the pace of progress, thank Allah that its resiliency and physical 
soundness overcame every obstacle. In respect of income and expenditure 
and as; regards the results of examinations, etc, this year, as compared 
to the previous years, proved much better. 

The kitchen had been started in A.H. 1328 on a very small scale but 
due to the ever-increasing number of student a large permanent staff had 
to be recruited this year. 


Ai-Qasim had been taken over last year by the Dar al-Ulum. This yea: 
another journal entitled Ai-Rasheed was stcrfecl in memory of Mauiana 
Gangchi. Since' the circle of subscribers to Ai-Gasim had already wide- 
ened, Al-Rasheed from the very beginning started under he auspices of 
the Dar al-Ulum. The usefulness and standard of articles both in Al- 
Gc'Sim and Al-Riishecd have been mentioned in this year's report in the 
following words — 

''The academic services the Ai-Qasim and Al-Rasheed have rendered 
ic the Muslims and the manner in which they have supplied treasures or 
clear information and have written authentically and selfless!" about 
every problem of whatever science it may be, can be estimated from the 
files of these journals of the previous years, let anyone who wishes to 
do so look into them closely and compare them with the contemporary 
academic, historical and literary journals. Allah willing, the contra- 
distinction between these two with their contemporary journals will become 
as clear as daylight. For whatever article, irrespective of its subject, the 
pen has' be?n set to paper in both these journals, it has been so done in 
a research style, with due deference to the predecessors' dignity, regard- 

ing them 1o be worthy of reverence, worthy of copying and worthy of being 
followed; unlike ihe trend of the time that assuming oneself to be a muj- 
tahid one would pen anything about anybody and would trot out any 
opinion, about any proposition as per one's guess and conjecture. In liter- 
ary and historical articles it has been observed as a matter of principle that 
every event must be in accord wiih the criterion of historiography, elicit- 
ing at the same time those consequences and advantages by seeing which 
the community might derive great benefits in respect of its social life, 
civilisation, religion and religiosity. 

"Then it also is no less amazing thai despite all sorts of propositions 
(mflsa'if), the method of extreme simplicity and moderation has been main- 
tained all through in the writing of the articles. Praise be to Allah that 
no objector has been given scope to level undue criticism to them and 
this also did not come to pass — even if it did, it was but rare — that 
anyone might have got an opportunity to join an issue and cavil". 


In Constantinople from the time of the Ottoman empire, same precious 
prophetic relics like sword, flag and the auspicious jubbah hcve been pre- 
served in the royal treasury. These relics had been entrusted in the be- 
ginning of the tenth century hijri by the last Abbasid caliph, Al-Mutawakkil 
al-Allah, to Sultan Salim I, while transferring the caliphate to him. The Otto- 
man Sultans used to preserve these prophetic relics wiih them as a sanad 
for the right of caliphate. For the sake of preservation a cover of tMn 
cloth is put en the auspicious jubbah from which ii is clearly visible. It 
is a statement of the envoy of the Ottoman empire that at the time 
cf seeing it ihe greatness of the auspicious jubbah is highly regarded and 
no man however great in rank dare touch or !:iss it. The people who get 
a glimpse of it and kiss, their action is confined to this covsr only. Ii was 
a practice of the Ottoman Sultans that they, along \v : th the ministers and 
officers of the state, used to have a look at these prophetic relics once a 
year on the 15th cf the Ramazcn al-Mubarak. The cover which .was 
placed on the jubbah was sometimes gifted as a benediction to special 
persons on behalf of the great sultan. How much auspicious and a 
source of blessing and good this cover must be due to having been in 
touch with the auspicious jubbah is quite evident. 

Now this jubbah is being enshrined in an old royal palace. Top Kapi, 
in Constantinople ( modern Ankara). Several relics of the Holy Prophet 
(Allah's peace and blessings be on him!) ore in safe custody in this palace, 
which had been built in 863/1458 by Sultan Muhammad Fateh. For a 


long time this palace was in use as f caliphal palace of ihe Turkish Sul- 
tans; later on it was converted into a museum. Top Kapi is a word of 
Turkish language, meaning "the Gate of the Cannon". 

There are various halls in the Top Kapi Museum. In one of ihem 
are lying two swords of the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be 
on him !) in a silver box. In the same hall there are two boxes of gold, 
one having an auspicious hair of the Hoiy P'-ophet (Allah's peace and 
blessings be on him!) and his seal wrich had been prepared by cutting 
carnelian. The seal is of rose-coloured cornelian and ovoid in shape. The 
ether box encases his flag. The Holy Prophet's ( Allah's peace and bless- 
ings be on him!) auspicious jubbah and precious letter have been framed 
in gold frames. It is that auspicious letter which the Holy Prophet (Allah's 
peace and blessings be on him !) had sent to Muqauqis, the monarch of 
Egypt. A French archaeologist, Barthelmy, had come by this auspi- 
cious letter in Egypt in A.D. 1850. He presented it to Sultan Abd al- 
Majeed Khan (1255/1839 - 1277|/1861) and the latter, having put it 
safely in a gold box, deposited it in the Top Kapi Museum. 

In that section of the Top Kapi where these auspicious relics have 
been enshrined, the following passage is written on the door in four langu- 
ages: Turkish, German, English and French: — 

"Far the past hundreds of years this place has had great importance 
and value in the eyes of the Muslims, All the relics enshrined here are 
holy and worthy to be heid in generation. 

"it is expected of you that at this sacred place you would observe sil- 
ence, gravity and solemnity and would nol do anything indecent here". 1 

During the spell of war with Balkan, the Dar al-Ulum had rendered 
valuable service from India to the Turkish wounded persons and refugees 
through the Red Crescent Society, end thereby had much impressed Sul- 
tan Muhammad (1324/1908 - 1336/1918) of Turkey. So his majesty the 
Sultan expressed his impression thus that he presented the greatest aus- 
picious gift of the Turkish empire — the cover of the holy Jubbah — to 
the Dar al-Ulum. Khalid Kahlil Bek, the envoy of the Ottoman empire, 

1. Mujalial al-Arabi al-Kuwait, Jan. 1968. 

This fetter was written in A.H. 7. The envoy who carried it to the Coptic King 
was Hazrat Hatib bin Ali Balta'ah Amr bin Salmah. The French archaeo- 
logist acquired st from a Coptic monk in the church of Ahmin and then pre- 
sented it to Sultan Abd al-Majeed Khan. A photocopy of his auspicious letter 
had been published long back in India also. (Translator), 


residing at Bombay, came to Deoband on 16th Rabi al-Awwal. A.H. 1332 
and presented the auspicious gift on behalf of his majesty the Sultan. 1 
This cover is in the form of a large handkerchief. The cloth is white, 
very thin and of a fine design. In the middle is written in bold black 
hand the following couplet:— 

and on the borders are written couplets in the Turkish language. 

This copital stock of good and blessing has been kept in a very beau- 
tiful wooden case in the treasury of Ihe Da/ al-Ulum, and since the day 
it has com* to the Dar al-Ulum, its auspiciousness and blessings are being 
observed very often. 


The ru'er of Dacca, Nawab Salim Allah Khan was very much interest- 
ed in national and Islamic works. He used to take increasingly greater 
and greater part in helping the Dar al-Ulum with big sums of money. 
In A.H. 1332 when an appeal was made for the construction and com- 
pletion of the Dar al-Hadith, he welcomed it very enthusiastically and ex- 
pressed the desire that a delegation of the Dar al-Ulum be sent to Dacca 
in this connection. It was the firs* occcsicn in the 50-year old history 
of the Dar al-Ulum that such an invitation was extended to it on behalf of 
a great prince of the country. So far ihere was no particular arrange- 
ment in ihe Dar al-Ulum for sending delegations and the* courts of noble- 
men and princes were being particularly avoided, but in view of the 
Nawab's sincere participation in religious works, zeal in national sym- 
pathy and Islamic affairs, and in deference to his wish it was decided to 
send a delegation. 

As such, a delegation comprising of the members and teachers of the 
Dar al-Ulum started for Dacca on 7th Jamadi ol-Ula under the leadership 

1. Khalid Khali! Bek had presented this great gift full of good and blessing to 
my august father very reverentially in the present library-building of the Dar 
al-Ulum. This humble self was also present there. The envoy described the 
same particulars of this gift which you have read in the text of this book. At 
that time- a big businessman of Calcutta, the late Haji Muhammad Yaqub, was 
also present along with the Turkish envoy for the inspection of the Dar al- 
Ulum. He sought my father's permission to get a costly case prepared for 
preserving this precious gift, and the permission was given gladly. Accord- 
ingly, this auspicious gift is lying encased in the same case sent by Haji 
Yaqub; the lid of this case is of crystal-glass; and from time to time this is 
shown to important visitors and those who happen to come here. (Muhammad 


of tho vice-chancellor. The noble Nawab, along vvilh the ministers of 
state and his relatives, gave a hearty welcome to the delegation at the 
railway station and did his besl in showing hospitality to the delegation 
befitting its dignity. Functions were held in Dacca tor several days. 
Maulana Anwar Shah, Maulana Madani, Aliamah Usmani and Maulana 
Murtaza Hasan delivered sermons and lectures. The Nawab pointed out 
in bis inaugural speech:— 

"I have been a sincere sctvani of ijhe Dar ahUium, Deoband, for a 
long time and I am always seized of the thought that I may try for its 
progress and find out ways and means of its well-being. Accordingly, 
at this hour too when it is an occasion for welcoming I wish that ! present 
a donation in the hope that you will be good enough to accept this paltry 
sum for the Dar ci-Ulum. Although this poo:" oblation is not such as to 
suffice even in the least for this magnificent work you have undertaken, 
I hope that you will do me an honour by accepting this trifling cmount". 

The Nawab on his own and on behalf of his family donated a sum of 
thirteen thousand rupees" for the construction of the Dar al-Hadith and 
promised to send more amounts in instalments in future. At the same 
time the Nawab, for the completion of the Dar al-Hadith the estimated cost 
of which was one lakh rupees, formed a committee and assured the de- 
legation to begin the construction-work for which the committee would 
supply funds through donations. 1 


As regards pay-scales the system of the Dar al-U!um hes been ve¥y 
simple from its inception; the policy of fixing high salaries merely for 
pomp and show was never liked. At the same time the teachers and func- 
tionaries of the Dor al-Uium, with regard to salaries, have always kept 
this thing in mir,:! that they put on the Dar al-Ulum only that much burdrn 
of salaries in which one may maintain a simple life with conten'ment 
and economy. Accordingly, the salary of the earliest principal, Maulana 
Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi was only Rs. 4'0/- p.m. As such, it says 
in the report:— 

"The quantum of salaries in the Dar al-U!um has been always low in 
every respect — in respect of its greatness and dignity, the high quali- 
fications and fame of the teachers as well as sufficiency of their crea- 
ture comforts. Maulana Muhammad Yaqub, notwithstandina bis 
greatness and merit, used ta get only Rs. 40/- p.m. and Maulana Say- 

1. For details vide the Particulars of the Delegation to. Dacca in the report for 
A.H. 1332 and Al-Qasim, dated Jamadi al-Akhir and Rajab, A.H. 1332. 

yid Ahmed only Rs. 35/- p.m. Just consider these salaries in view of 
the dignity of the Dar al-Ulum and the greatness of these gentlemen. 
With what extreme frugality and difficulty these august men used to 
live on these meagre salaries (or mere pittance?) is known to all and 
we have ourselves observed it. Had these august men cared to go 
outside Deoband, on what post and how much salary they could 
have gone can be estimated from ihe fact that Maulana Muhammad 
Yaqub had been called to Bhopal and he declined to go there but when 
Maulana Sayyid Ahmed went there, he was appointed on nearly Rs. 
150/- p.m.". (Report, A.H. 1334, p. 38 ). 

But at the same lime the Dar c'-Ulum also did not like it that its 
staff-members should be plagued by economic worries and thereby lose 
their composure of mind. Hence whenever such a situation occurred, 
the Dar a!-Ulum promptly paid attention to it and increased the salaries 
in accordance with the cost of living index and thus afforded an opportu- 
nity to its workers to engage in their work with peace of mind and com- 
posure of heart. As such, in the current year the salary of the principal 
was raised from Rs. 50/- to Rs. 75/- p.m. and the salaries of other fun- 
ctionaries too were raised proportionately. 


Since the Dar al-Uium enjoys a central position in Deoband,, Muslims 
and learned men come to Deoband frequently, but by the railway which 
was formerly the only means of transport, A macadamised road was 
built much later. Since there was no mosque near the railway station 
then, the visitors used to face much inconvenience. Some gentlemen of 
Deoband had often thought, of building a mosque there, so much so that 
even the preliminary stages of construction had also been completed but 
every time such occasions arose ihat the construction could not begin. 
This good fortune, however, had been des ined by the Omnipotent Lord 
for three charitable real brothers, Shaikh Muhammad Ibrahim, Shaikh 
Muhammad Yaqub and laikh Muhammad Yasin, With their attention 
and money a beautiful i osque was built near the railway station. The 
compound of the mosque is quite vast, enclosed on all four sides with a 
solid wall, and has within it a delightful garden. There are rooms for 
the imam and the muezzin and outside the compound some shops have 
also been built for the expenses of the mosque. Five thousand rupees was 
spent on the construction of the mosque 1 which is under the management 
of the Dar al-Ulum. 

1. The late Shaikh Muhammad Yaqub was the father of Hafiz Muhammad Yusuf, 
the proprietor of the popular monthly Urdu magazine, "Shama", New Delhi. 
Shaikh Muhammad Ibrahim was his great uncle and Shaikh Muhammad Yasin 
his uncle. These gentlemen have built this mosque to remit its recompense 
to their deceased mother (wife of Haji Abd al-Rahman). 


In the hisiory of the Dar al-U!um this was the second time that the 
governor of U.P. came to visit it. The first occasion of his visit had arisen 
ten years ago, during Hazrat Gangohi's lifetime, in 1323/1905. The 
main reason for inviting him this lime was that a rain-nullah used to pass 
from near the site where ihe Dar .ai-Hadith was to be built, and though 
efforts for its removal from there were continuing for a long iime, there 
were such difficulties in, the way due to high and Sow ground in its vici- 
nity that inspite of government approval it could not be removed from 
there; for the completion of this work, bes'des its permission the help of 
the provincial government was also required. It was because of this 
that Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed, V.C. of the Dar al-Ulum, had 
been thinking for quite some time to invite ihe governor of the province. 
The. governor of U.P. then was Sir James Muston. On March 1, 1915 
(A. H. 1333) he came to Deoband. In the address that was presented to 
His Excellency in the weSccme-function, the ideal of the Dar al-Ulum, its 
principle of education policy, fulfilment of the students' needs, avoidance 
of showiness and affectation, the simple life of the teachers and the 
taught, the gradual development of the Dar ai-Ulum and its aspirations 
for the future had been fully detailed. 

Sir James. Muston, after inspecting the Dar ai-Ulum, expressed the 
profound impression of its greatness that it had cut on his heart in his 
Urdu speech thus:— 

"It was my wish for a long time that I should come here and see 
this famous madrasah with my own eyes and get an opportunity to meet 
and know its learned teachers. Of this my wish there are several rea- 
sons. Firstly, the respect ond veneration of such learned scholars who 
remain engaged in teaching and imparting knowledge without expect- 
ing any worldly gain ought to exist naturally in the heart of every educat- 
ed man; secondly, because of the pride and credit which every inhabitant 
of these provinces should fake on account of this madrasah the fame 
of which has spread in all the countries of Asia and Islamic Europe. And 
one great reason is also this that I value and appreciate it from the 
bottom of my heart that you keep steadily engaged in religious education 
only. I am really greateful to you that you showed me this famous and 
celebrated madrasah and afforded me an opportunity to know at least 
some of the particulars of your work and real objectives. 


"Nowadays the inclination of the people of the world is towards 
three imperfect matters. Firstly, the people, without having any consi- 
deration for the eternal comfort of the Hereafter, keep trying day and 
night for the acquisition of worldly lucre and expend their intellect and 
wisdom, which our Great Creator hath bestowed on us for better objectives, 
in this very inferior work. The second thing is that the people have a 
propensity towards external elegance and adornment, fame and show, 
and do not want to spare any part of their time for acquiring spiritual and 
inner blessings (hcrakat) and advantages which are the true and real 
bounties. Thirdly, the people behave fanatically under the cover of 
religion and incite mutual discord and rancour instead of instilling into 
their minds through religious exhortation and education that in the sight 
of the God of this universe all his slaves are equal and all should treat 
each other with humility and forgiveness and follow the following 
axiom; — 

'They consider strangers their relatives and adopt the path of con- 

"You have mentioned in this sentence of the address and that is the 
most effective one that you abstain completely from all these three un- 
sound matters, and I am fully certain that thus you are imparting such 
education and training to your students which would be the cause of 
their comfort and hapiness in both the world and the Hereafter. 

"Although your community is passing through a period of trouble 
and pessimisim, you keep showing them the light of wise morctliza- 
tion and keep comforting and pacifying them in this state of despondency 
with the teachings of true religion. Thus their troubles will vanish. On 
this occasion I cannot say that I wish to help you through any worldly 
means, for this may perhaps be unpleasant to you, but you know it too 
well that if any time help is desired from your end, I will try my best— 
and cheerfully— and consider it a piece of good luck for myself, to extend 
it. Today I can say only this much that I am very thankful to you for 
your hospitality and that I have great regard and veneration in my heart 
for your work; and I pray to God that you acquire progress in all kinds 
of religious and temporal matters"! 


This year again a further addition was made in the donation from 



Hyderabad. Till date Rs. 500/- used to come monlhly for the Dar al-Ulum 
but this year, due to the efforts of the vice-chancellor, Rs. 300/- was 
added to that sum and now the donation amounted to Rs. 800/- p.m. 
And then, after a few years, irv A.H. 1338, it was made Rs. 1,000/- p.m. 
which continued till the merger of ihe state. After the st ccesstu! efforts 
for these additions, whenever the respectable Vice-char ellor Maulana 
Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed, returned to Deoband from Hyderabad, he would 
be given a warm welcome, functions for felicitations would be held and con- 
gratulatory poems would be read. As such, on the occasion of the last in- 
rease, Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, Maulana Abd al-Sam'ee and 
Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, the present vice-chancellor ( who was 
then in his student days) read out their eloquent panegyrics. 

In those days all the Islamic teaching institutions were being bene- 
fitted from the munificence of ths Asafyah state. Even as the Asafyah 
government used to help Dar al-U!um, Deoband, Muslim University, Aii- 
garh, and many other Muslim instilutions most magnanimously, it also 
used to give lavish educational grants to Hindu institutions like the 
Benares Hindu University, Benares, Shcmli Niketan, etc. 


From the very first day of its inception the step the Dar al-Ulum had 
put forward towards progress went on advancing from year lo yiiar. 
It is stated in the annals of this year i 

"In the last ten years the length and width of the Madrasah-e 'Aliyah, 
Deoband, has, in every respect, developed three-and fourfold. If a glance 
is, cast on each and every branch of it and the present condition is com- 
pared with the condition that obtained ten years ago, it clearly appears 
that in some matters it has progressed threefold and in some fourfold; 
for instance, the rush of students, the number of magistral staff, building- 
work, library, total income and expenditure. Accordingly the flcckinq 
in of students can be well estimated from having a look at the ratio of 
the last few years. At the end of A. H. 1326 the strength of students in 
the Arabic class was 169, ond now, after seven years, it is more than 
400. Due to the rush and resorting of the students it became indispen- 
sable to extend every department of the madrasah as regards accommo- 
dation and construction-work because now there are fifty and sixty and 
eighty students in most of the dosses. Similarly.the expansion of the 
library also become necessary. As su^h. thank Allah, extension went 
on with similar ratio in everything. The library-building wcs extended 
which despite its extensiveness is again becoming narrow. Class-rooms 


were also built and in this connection the building of the Dar-al-Hadiih 
was proposed". 


It is stated in the report that with the beginning of the year A.H. 

1336 there was an extraordinary rush and throng of students. The 
strength of studenis was never so excessive in any year in the past; in 
the higher classes particularly there was a great rush of earnest and 
ardent students. There had never been so many students any time in 
the class of Daura-e Hadith. The number of students for the study of 
Tirmizi Sharif and the Muslim Sharif reached the figure 90. Teaching-work 
at present is in progress with extreme calm and composure, regularity 
and responsibility. Every arrangement looked perfect as per its occasion. 
Seeing this condition of the Dar al-UIum, on: thanks involuntarily the 

Lord of the Universe that in this age of apathy to religious sciences. He 
bestowed upon the Dar aI-U!um such popularity and fame and created 
such zest and eagerness among the Muslims for the acquirement of the 
religious sciences that, relegating the worldly pelf and honour to the back, 
they wish to pass their lives for the progress of Islam, guidance of the 
Muslims and the dissemination of education and do not seek reward' and 
praise from anyone; on the contrary, they have become the butt of re- 
proach and ridicule and' yet are whole-heartedly att;ntivo towards it. 

"But right at the time when the educational activity was in i!s prime, 
epidemic diseases broke out in Deoband and some students fell victim 1o 
them. Though disquietude and distraciion was created among the stu- 
dents, the process of education progressed as usual. Bu? when the dis- 
ease became much too virulent, the Dar al-UIum had to be clcsed of neces- 
sity. Most of the teachers too were involved in the seasonal diseases. 
The Dar al-UIum remained closed for several months. This sudden mis- 
hap, however, was such that despite the completion of the arrangement 
for teaching and the porgress of the educational process on a high scale, 
it did cause damage. But, thank Allah, at last normalcy' returned, the 
teachers and the taught courageously kept engaged in their work and 
continued to make preparations with full effort and endeavour. There 
was perfect certitude due to Allah's kindness and favour and the teachers' 
and students' earnestness that the loss caused by particular causes would 
be made good in a better manner. Accordingly, when, at the end of the 
academic year, the annual examination was held, 551 out of 577 students 
who were present took the examination and 26 who were sick were ab- 
sent. From amongst the examinees, notwithstanding the severe loss 
caused by sickness, only 6 candidates could not scrape through while 545 


scored passing marks; i.e., the percentage of the successful candidates 
was 99!i, which is reckoned to be a high grade of success". 


At ihe end of the previous year the Shaikh al-Hind had gone for pil- 
grimage. After having performed the ha j j he had a mind to stay for 
some time in the two holy cities (Mecca and Madina ). A special expedi- 
ency, too, which will be detailed shortly, was before him in this sojourn. 
As such he spent the whole year of A.H. 1334 in staying at the holy 
cities. His return was expected in the beginning of A.H. 1335 but all 
of a sudden it became known that the British government got him arrest- 
ed through Sharif Husain and then first sent him to Cairo and then to 
Malta. Pain and anxiety for this regrettable incident was bound to be 
felt by the Indian Muslims, particularly by the Dar al-Ulum and his devoted 
friends. Every possible effort was made by the Dar al-Ulum and the 
Indian Muslims for his release and no effective method was spared, but 
all things proved infrucfuous. On November 6, 1917, a powerful dele- 
gation of the Dar al-Ulum, under ihe leadership of its vice-chancellor, 
Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed, called upon the governor of U.P. and 
submitted a written petition, but except an oral expression of sympathy 
no result came out till the end and the Shaikh al-Hind was kept as a 
detenu in Malta with war-prisoners for three and a quarter years. 

The cause of his arrest was thai military plan which he had chalked 
out to put an end to the British power in India. It was a well-organised 
plan with ramifications reaching outside the country also. The whole 
plan, in a nutshell, was to take help from Germany, Turkey and Afgha- 
nistan, and then declare war against the English through the independent 
tribesmen on the north-western border of India and simultaneously start 
a rebellion inside the country itself. Since at this time all the military 
might of Britain was busy in combating with the combined forces of 
Germany and Turkey, it was expected that it would have been difficult 
for the English to gain control over external aggression and internal up- 
rising and hence they would have been constrained to leave India. (The 
details of this plan will be presented in Chapter V). 


The famous charitable nobleman of Delhi, Haji Bakhsh Hahi and his 
family were among the special helpers of the Dar al-Ulum. He always 
used to fake part in helping the Dar al-Ulum with large sums of money. 
In A.H. 1335 he sent his son, Hajr Muhammad Rafi' to Deoband to see the 


Dar al-Ulum. The latter stayed in the Dar al-Ulum for some time and 
inspected each and everything with extreme perspicaciousness and, after 
reaching Delhi, put down his observations into black and white and him- 
self published these under the title "Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, ki Sair". This 
tract spreads over 24 pages of largs size, in which he has described every 
department of the Dar al-Ulum, its organisation, functionaries, teachers 
and administrators very comprehensively and in an effective manner. 
About the students he says :— 

"It was the month of Sha'ban. I saw that the annual examination 
was being conducted. Seeing is invigilation, arrangement and the spec- 
tacle of the examination came before my mind's eye the picture of the 
greai kings of Islam. It is indeed the spirit and blessing of these august 
men that they have been arranging and managing so regularly such a 
large body. The condition of the students' zest and eagerness was such 
that I had myself seen them burning the midnight oil, reading, repeating 
and studying well beyond the dead of night; which is surely the effect 
of the teachers' labour and the excellence of instruction. When I used 
to see this condition of the students' toil, I used to feel pity for these help- 
less, meek and poor young men who had left their homes, had borne 
the pangs of separation from their kith and kin and had suffered the 
hardships of journeying from' distant lands, and now, in their state of in- 
digence, having abandoned their enjoyment and comfort, were labouring 
so hard. 

"In the group of students I saw one Maulavi Abd al-Ghafoor, a man 
of gentle disposition, who hails from Mosul (Iraq) and is staying at 
Deoband only for the sake of acquiring knowledge. I also heard that 
he was formerly of the Shafi'i mazhab (method) but of his own volition 
and predilection, though the teachers of the Dar al-Ulum dissuaded him 
from doing so, adopted the Hanafite mazhab willingly. 

"In short, students from Russia, China, Balkh and Bukhara, Kabul, 
Rum (Turkey), Syria, Arabia and Iran, in fact, from every country and 
city, are present there. By now more than a thousand divine scholars, 
having completed their studies there, have fanned out in the country, and 
there is no knowing how many more would come out from there to become 
the cause of guidance for the ummah. For I see that whenever a quali- 
fied religious scholar is required in any teaching institution, society^ mad- 
rasah or metktab, he is invariably called from the Dar al-Ulum only, and^ 
only the scholars and teachers educated there have had the ability to 
teach all sorts of books. Accordingly, when 1 thought of my own son's 
education and training, I invited from the Dar al-Ulum only a well-dis- 



posed and virt uous young graduate, Mcu, av | Q ari Muhammad Yusuf 
£ alone my p , ace , in every b!g ^ ^ BQm «* 

habaa, Benaras, De hi, Agra Meeru ■ RawlIK, u 

you will find a.uj, .,„? " Barei " y; Wherever ^ ™Y 

y- win w, AI ,ah W i^, the ;^:;:^ziZrZZZZ: 

gracing the masnads of teaching". 

About the accounts of the Dar al-Ulum he writes : - 

3hk^«. Very mUC !l ° maZed Qnd ast0 " ished af »me of the things there 
which baffle my .ntellect. For instance, the accounts of a great academic 
centre hke the Dar al-Ulum, a like of whIch does nof J^ J™ *™ 

tions and 1S rendering so efficiently an outstanding service to Islam, are 
so clear and authentic that it is difficult ta find an example thereof. 
Anyone who wishes to know can send for its report and satisfy oneself 
Every re g,ster there is so well maintained that right from the beginning 
of the madrasah tcdate if you wish to scrutinise the accounts, you can do 
so. The accounts of many societies, madrasahs and offices have passed 
from before my eyes but I never happened to see such a clear' and honest 
account; the truth is that this is the result of these august men's sincerity 
and honesty. Those who do not believe it can go there and see for them- 
selves impartially its conspicuous effect. And it is no wonder if the sin- 
cerity and integrity of these august men be the cause of the progress of 
the Dar al-Ulum". 

("Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, ki Sair", pp. 4-6) 

As regards the academic peculiarities and spiritual and gnostic qua- 
lities of that period, Hazrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shaf'ee Deobandi- 
Karachwi writes :— 

"The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, at that time was a matchless cradle of 
ulema who were the imams of their respective sciences, and saints and 
virtuous men. If on the one hand the circle of teaching of 'the Specimen 
of the Predecessors,' the Chief of the Shaikhs, Hazrat Maulana Sayyid Mu- 
hammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri, dean of the Dar al-Ulum, was an exam- 
ple of the circle of teaching of Hafiz Ibn Hajar and Shaikh al-Islam 
Nanautavi, on the other, the circle of teaching of Shaikh al-lslam Hazrat 
Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani reminded one of Imam Ghazali and 
Razi. If on the one hand continued the circle of fetwa-writing and teach- 
ing of Hadith and Tafsir along with the circle of spiritual reformation and 
_ guidance and the unparalleled system of training the wayfarers under 
Shaikh al-Masha'ikh the great Mufti Maulana Aziz al-Rahman; on the 
other, were continuing the lectures on Hadith and Fiqh and the series of 
universally beneficial books of 'the Relic of the Predecessors', the divine 



J 95 

scholar, Maulana Sayyid Asghar Husain. At the same time there was 
a great exoteric of spiritual guidance and training for the general edifica- 
tion of the masses, whereby thousands of the bondmen of Allah used to 
be reformed showing a tangible religious revolution in them.. 

'Professor of Literature and Flqh, Maulana Izaz AM, and professor 
of the ralional and traditional sciences, Maulana Muhammad Ibrahim 
Balliavi, and Maulana Rasul Khan Hazarvi (Allah's mercy be on them!) 
were then considered teachers of the middle category. The Prince of 
Polemics, Maulana Sayyid Murtaza Hasan was the organiser of educa- 
tional activities; Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed was the vice-chan- 
cellor of the Dar al-Ulum, who, over and above his official functions,, al- 
ways maintained his practice of teaching one lesson. The pro-vice-chan- 
cellor was Maulana Habib al-Rnhman whose Arabic panegyrics and the 
glorious compilation "Dunya men Islam kionker Pheta"? have met with 
approbation in every class of the ulema. In fine, the examples of the 
pious predecessors and personifications of knowledge and practice were 
seen there shining like stars, seeing whose faces one was reminded of 
God. It is not inept to say regarding them :— 

"It was an assembly of angels which (ultimately) broke up "} 

A. H. 1337 : DEATHS 

The important incident in the annals of this year is that of the death 
of Maulana Abd al-Raheem P.oipuri, a senior member of the Dar al-Ulum. 
He passed away from this mortal abode to the eternal realm on 25th 
Jamadi al-Thani, A. H. 1337. A condolence meeting was held in the Dar 
al-UIum as usual and the whole course of the. Kalima-e Tayyibah (the 
Holy Formula ) was recited fully to remit its recompense to the departed 
soul. The Shaikh al-Hind sent from Malta a long Urdu sextain ( museid- 
das ) written in the form of an elegy. 

The late Maulana wos a repposiiory of bo'h the exoteric and the eso- 
teric knowledge and a matchless figure in his time in abstinence and 
trust in Allah, in patience and contentment, and wide range of good quali- 
ties. He had acquired khilafat ( spiritual succession ) from Hazrat Gan- 
gohi. The gamut of his graces and blessings was very wide. He was 
especially inclined to the teaching of the Holy Quran. Through hiat effort 
and attention many madrnsahs for the teaching of Quran were running 
in the suburbs of Saharanpur and most of the eastern districts of the 
Punjab. There always used to be a throng of those who sought spiritual 

1. Mujalla "Dar al-Ulum, Deoband", dated December, 1974, p. 30. 


grace from him. In short, both the systems, the exoteric and the esoteric, 
were in existence due to him. The method of imparting spiritual grace 
was much similar to that of Hazrat Gangohi's. He had had a specially deep 
relation with the Dar al-U!um and used ts take utmost interest in all its 
affairs, great or small. 

The second incident under this heading is the demise of Maulana 
Ghulam Rasul, an old teacher in the Dar al-U!um. He hailed! from Bagh- 
gha, district Hazara. Upto the middle course-books he had studied in 
his native-place. Then, in A. H. 1297, he came to the Dar al-Ulum and 
completed his education. After completion he was appointed a teacher in 
A.H. 1308 in the Dar al-Ulum where he served for thirty years. This year 
the epidemic of influenza was very severe in Deoband, The Dar al-Ulum 
remained closed for more than a month. The disease took a tall of eight 
to fen students and the Mauiana too died of the same virulent disease 
on 18th Muharram, A. H. 1337. He was a great scholar both in the ra- 
tional and traditional sciences and a hafiz of many sciences. In the ra- 
tional sciences he enjoyed a distinguished position in the circle of the 
ufema. The students used to take pride in learning the sciences from 
him. On account of his comprehensive; scholarship and popularity he was 
several times invited on high salaries to different places but he did not 
approve of being separated from the Dar al-Ulum; he did not like to give 
preference to the high salaries of other places over the small salary he 
was getting here. His life was very simple, totally innocent of pomp. 


It must have been well estimated from the previous pages that the 
Dar al-Ulum had gained an academic centrality in the Islamic world from 
the very inception and the report of its fame, passing from Asia, had 
reached Africa and Europe. Similarly the sphere of its beneficence, too, 
was not confined to the land of India only. It will be known from look- 
ing into the annual reports that evem as students from different provinces 
and places of India were present in the Dar al-Ulum, people from Kabul 
and Iran, Balkh and Bukhara, China and Russia, and Syria and Hejaz 
used to undertake journeys to Deoband to acquire the knowledge of the 
Quran and the Hadith. If, on the one hand, the compatriots of Imam 
Bukhari were busy in acquiring his old legacy and taking it back to Buk- 
hara, on the other, those benefitted by the Dar al-Ulum, reaching Mosul 
and Hejaz, especially the holy Madina, were cultivating relation wilh 
their original spring. 

But as the benevolence of the Dar al-Ulurn widened and its expenses 
increased, the circle of its patrons and supporters also went on increasing 


from strength to strength, and, from time to time, besides those of India, 
the charitable Muslims of other countries too kept taking part in helping 
and supporting it. Accordingly, in A.H. 1328, on the occasion of the 
grand convocation, the charitable Muslims of South Africa had sent a tidy 
sum. This contribution went on increasing steadily since then and many 
sympathisers and helpers of the Dar al-Ulum rose up in many places of 
South Africa, like Durban, Natal, Transvaal, Stenger etc., and this mode 
which had begun from South Africa reached East Africa also. 


Mention has already been made in the annals of A.H. 1335 of the 
Shaikh al-Hind's arrest. The particulars of his stay in Hejaz and his deten- 
tion in Malta for three and a quarter years wilt be described appropriately; 
here only the particulars of his release are givenl briefly :— 

On 22nd Jamadi al-Akhir, A.H. 1338, the Shaikh al-Hind and his com- 
panions were dispatched from Malta under military escort. For nearly 
two and a quarter months he was kept in Saidi Bashr and Suez. On 5th 
Ramazan al-Mubarak they set out from Suez for Bombay where the ship 
docked on 20th Ramazan. After reaching Bombay he was told that now 
he was free along with his companions and there were no restrictions upon 
him. The Khilafat Committee of Bombay gave a grand welcome. 
Staying in Bombay till 23rd Ramazan, he came to Delhi on 25th Ramazan. 
On the morning of 26th Ramazan he started for Deoband and his train 
arrived at the Deoband railway station at 9-00 a.m. At the railway 
stations en route to Deoband there wos everywhere a huge crowd of those 
who were eager to have a glimpse of him, but the crowd at the Deoband 
railway station was simply boundless : innumerable persons were thron- 
ging there to have a look at him. The news of his departure from Suez 
had already been received at Deoband about the same time through 
letters and it was also known that he would be reaching Bombay on 20th 
Ramazan. But as stated above, it was not known at all that he had been 
released nor could it be known whether it would be possible to meet 
him in Bombay. Nevertheless, Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed, along 
with his sons and some relatives and friends of tha Shaikh al- Hind, had 
reached Bombay. As regards the Shaikh al-Hind's arrival at the Dar al- 
Ulum, it has been stated in the report as under :— 

"Among the most auspicious and bright annals of this year is Shaikh 
al-Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan's returning with freedom to India after 
having passed the period of his detention in Bgypt and Cairo and then 


at ihe Malta island, and his arrival at his native-place, Deoband, after 
an absence of five years. It is a very important event in the history of 
the Dar al-Ulum. This was the propitious date of 26th Ramazan al- 
Mubarak, A.H. 1338, when, after nearly five years, it fell to the lot of 
eager hearts of Deoband to see this beautiful day. With what sincerity, 
fervour and jubilation a glorious welcome was accorded 10 him coutd 
be estimated by only ihose people who had witnessed this auspicious 
scene. From the railway station ihe august Maulana first went to the 
Dar al-U!um. There he sat down on a wooden throne (takht) in an 
unroofed room and the eager visitors sat down in a circle around it; and 
those who were at a distance, fhey stood up to receive a giimps.e of him 
from there or from the roof of the room. He and the whole gathering 
kept invoking God for a long time. Then he went to the Council Room 
where he tarried for somq time and then from there he went home. 


For the past eight to ten years the number of studenis in the Dar 
al-Ulum had been continuously increasing. Accordingly, in A.H. 1337, 
ihe strength was 361 bur this year it reached 601. The rooms of the 
hostel were quite Insufficient for this number, and hence more than half 
the number of students hod to live in the different mosques and houses 
in the town. In this situation the students had neither full concentration 
and calmness nor could they be supervised and trained satisfactorily. 
Besides this, the number of students residing in the hostel was much more 
in proportion to the area of the hostel. The scarcity of accommodation, 
therefore, was very perturbing and hence the necessity of building more 
rooms was being felt very acutely. So the proposal for building a large 
hostel to the northern, western and southern sides of the Dar al-Hadith 
was under consideration. Thanks to Allah that this year some charitable 
men of Amritsar paid attention to this matter and with their donations 
the foundations of this proposed large hostel were laid. These rooms 
which have been constructed from time to time in the later years are a valu- 
able memorial to ihe Indian Muslims' religiosity, their concern for the religi- 
ous sciences and generous help in religious works. Sa spacious and capa- 
cious are these rooms that upto eight students can reside in each one of 
them comfortably. There are verandahs in front of the rooms and be- 
yond them a very extensive and open courtyard on the three sides of 
which is the hostel and in the eastern direction that magnificent, sky- 
scraping building of tfve Dar al-Hadith which is the first-ever construction 
of its type on the Indian soil. The courtyard is vast and extensive in 
which has been (aid a garden with various kinds of large and small 
flower plants and shruberries/ and having made an avenue it has been 


given the form of an attractive back-garden. Later on, just opposite the 
Dar al-Hadith, was built the Bab al-Zahir (Zahir Gate), which is such 
a memorial to Afghanistan's king Muhammad Zahir Shah's attachment to 
the Dar al-Ulum that it will remain secure on the pages of history. 


Only the year before the Shaikh al-Hind had been released from 
Maiia and had returned home. The year A.H. 1339 had just begun when 
the calamitous incident of his demise occurred. It says in the report:— 

"The occasion of the Shaikh al-Hind's arrival had enhanced the 
splendour of the Dar al-Ulum to such a degree that in the later years 
more than this was simply unimaginable for the common intellects. The 
legion of guests and visitors presented a specimen of the Rasheedi and 
Qasimi majlises (assemblies). The spectacle of the Shaikh al-Hind's 
wonderful condescension was worth seeing. Besides ihe hardships of a 
long journey and notwithstanding his practice of fasting during day and 
devotions at night, he would not like to part company from the eager 
visitors, particularly from those who came to attend upon him after hav- 
ing suffered the troubles of long travels, even for a short while so as to 
take some rest. Sometimes the sensible guests themselves would disperse 
from these assemblies and somtimes his attendants, with much insisience, 
would arrange privacy for a short time". 

It was his intention to start the lessons of Hadith as usual but the 
thronging of people would not spare so much time as to start any aca- 
demic work or educational activity. Nevertheless, since the academic 
year in the Dar al-Ulum starts in the month of Shawwal, in which the 
teaching work begins and tests for admissions are conducted, it was the 
people's wish that the said tests begin with him only and he alone in- 
augurate the lessons of Hadith, But the visitors and those desirous of 
paying their respects to him did not give him time to start the leaching of 
Tirmizi Shrif as per his wont. Meanwhile he was also obliged to under- 
take some, necessary journeys. On his return from these journeys, soan 
after Id al-Adma began his illness. The hakims of Deoband, including 
his own younger brother, Hakim AAuhcmmad Hasan, physician in the 
Madrasha-e Aliya-e Decband, were treating him. In the meantime ar- 
rived in/ his presence a delegation from Aiigarh v/ith the motive of mak- 
ing a request to him that the "Jomia-e Millia" be inaugurated- at his hands. 
His devoted attendants and relatives, in view of the severity of his dis- 
ease, were not it favour of his making a journey— they were objecting 
to it—, but he did not like to reject the appeal of the Muslims of Aiigarh. 


In such a serious condition that he could not lurn his side by himself, he 
embarked on the journey. Many attendants (including the late Allamah 
Usmani and the present vice-chancellor Maulana Qari Muhammad Tay- 
yid) accompained him. Weakness increased during this journey to Ali- 
garh and after his return 10 Deoband the condition became more dis- 
quieting. At last he was taken to Delhi for medical treatment. Masih aj- 
Mutkd Hakim Ajmal Khan and Dr. Mukhlar Ahemd Ansari began to treat 
him. A day before his death the news was received at Deoband that 
his condition had taken a serious turn. Hazrat Maulana Hafiz Muham- 
mad Ahmed, vice-chancellor, Hazrat Maulana Habib al-Rahman, Pro- 
vice-chancellor, Maulana Sayyid Anwar Shah and other gentlemen set 
off for Delhi. But just at the time these gentlemen were starting for 
Delhi from Deoband, the Shaikh al-Hind, on Tuesday, 8th Rabi al-Awwal, 
breathed his last, in Dr. Ansari's mansion at Daryaganj (Delhi). 

The bier was brought to Deoband. At several places en route large 
groups of people said funeral prayers at the railway-stations. When the 
bier reached the Deoband railway station, the same scene was enacted 
as at the time of his arrival from Malta, but with a difference; at that 
time the intense thrill of joy would not let one stand right and at this time 
the poignancy of grief would not allow one any relief. The throng 
was so great that it caused inordinate delay in taking the bier home. 
The funeral service! was held next day in the morning at the campus- of the 
Dar al-Ulum and with a thousand regrets and sorrows and a thousand 
woes and agonies this treasure of knowledge and action was laid into the 

May Allah illuminate his grave I 

' ; "*■ *«•» •■»'•■- ■ 

Many panegyrics and elegies composed in Arabic, Persian and Urdu 
by his disciples have been mentioned in the report. Here a chronogram- 
matic fragment ( qat'a ) on his death, from the pen of Maulana Siraj 
Ahmed, a teacher in the Dar al-Ulum, is paraphrased; it is as follows:— 

Those enamoured of Allah — do they ever die? Mahmud's perman- 
ence is inscribed on the Protected Tablet. 

At his call the world said: 'I'm present'. In an instant all became 
subdued to Mahmud. 

He was appointed by Allah for preaching; the effect of Mahmud's 
message is a just witness thereof. 


Never was a step taken for the mean world; whenever Mahmud took 
a step, he took it for the path of Allah* only. 

The cup of Hadifh was plied around morning and evening. Bravo ! 

Blessed be Mahmud's "habitual carousal! 

His disciples are scattered throughout the world; indeed Mahmud's 
name is eternally alive. 

He speaks nothing but smile is playing on his lips. Is it death or 

wakefulness or Mahmud's slumber? 

As for the year of his passing away came in an inspiration to the 
heart from the Invisible : "Khuld-e A'ala tarab-afza hai muqam-e Mahmud"; 
that is, "Mahmud's abode is in the mirth-exciting lofty Paradise". (The 
numerical value of the Urdu letters in the above-mentioned half-verse 
totals up to 1339, the year of the Shaikh al-Hind's demise. Translator). 


In A.H. 1339, there was a fall in the donations to and income of ihe 
Dar al-Ulum from the Indian side, bjut the valuable donations from France, 
South Africa, Rangoon and other foreign countries made good this defi- 
ciency; amongst these donations the contribution from France had come 
for the first and probably the last time. 


In the beginning of A.H. 1340 a wire was received from the chief 
secretary of the Hyderabad State that "His Exalted Highness the Nizam 
had nominated Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed for the post of Ifta 
(fetwa-issuing ) in the high court of Hyderabad for a period of three years 
on a salary of one thousand rupees per month". 

On account of the deep attachment the respected vice-chancellor had 
with the Dar al-Ulum and how much engrossed he used to be in its affairs, 
there was for him no scope to pay attention to anything else and yet, 
looking to the long-standing connection betweein the Dar al-Ulum and the 
Hyderabad State, it was also not easy to overlook this offer. It was 
clearly a dilemma. At last, however, the decision of the group came to 
this that compliance with the order should not be declined. So, on 9th 
Rabi al-Akhir, the vice-chancellor, taking Maulana Habib al-Rahman along 


with him, started for Hyderabad. On 14th 3abi al-Akhir he called upon 
the Nizam. When he talked about his service in the Dar al-Ulum and 
his zeal and engrossment in it, the Nizam said: "I know that the work 
you discharge is very greaf and if you had declined to come here on ac- 
count of it, I would not have felt sorry, but I did anticipate that in pur- 
suance of my intention you would surely come. You can render services 
to the Dar al-Ulum even from here". 1 

Besides filling the post of Ifta, the Nizam, by this appointment, 
had also in mind the necessity of improving the educational and admini- 
strative affairs of the Madrasa-c Nizamiya ( Hyderabad ). As such, the 
deanship of this madrasah too was entrusted to Hafiz Sahib and a spe- 
cial firman was issued to the effect that in context with its previous parti- 
culars, suggestions be made for the improvement and progress of the 
Madrasa-e Nizamiya. Accordingly, ihe suggestions made by the respected 
dean in this connection received immediate approval From the Nizam. 

The respected vice-chancellor maintained his relation with the Dar 
al-Ulum as usual even during his stay in Hyderabad. It was because he 
had been sent to the Deccan with a new designation, especially created 
for him, of chancellorship of the Dar al-Ulum, while the pro-vice-chancel- 
lor, Maulana Hcbib, had be,en made vice-chanceilor. Thus, he 
used to decide all the fundamental and essential matters of the Dar al- 
Ulum from the Deccan, always participating in serving it through corres- 
pondence and counsel in all its important affairs. 


As already stated in the foregone, the scales of salary in the Dar 
al-Ulum have been low and ordinary, for the teachers and functionaries 
here, in return for their services, have always given preference to self- 
sacrifice and Allah's pleasure. However, human needs too cannot be 
ignored totally. So, when the prices soared during World War I and dear- 
ness lingered on as usual even after the war was over, the question of 
addition to salaries became inevitable. Accordingly, addition was made 

In the old administrative set-up of the Hyderabad State the department of 
Dar al-Qaza was in existence in the Islamic style. The affairs of the dominions 
with the religious law were submitted to it and settled by it. The post of 
it a also existed on a governmental basis. There was the post of Chief Mufti 
in the High Court. Its function was to issue fetwas in accordance with the 
Shari'ah in cases of murder and talion (qisas). The decision of the High 
Court devolved on the Mufti's fetwa. Although this post resembled that of 
the Chief. Justice, it was, because of. its being a purely religious and legal 
post, considered more distinguished and glorious. 


wilh ihis ralio that Rs. 4ttj- was added to the previous salary of Rs. 85/- 
of the chancellor and Rs. 30'/- to the salary of Rs. 70/- of the dean simi- 
larly, the salaries of ail The cadres of teachers and functionaries were 
raised proportionately. 

On this occasion ihs Majlis-e Shura, passing the resolution for the 
necessity of raising salaries, has stated i "The resolution which the vice- 
chancellor has drafted as regards the salaries of the respected teachers 
and the employees of the Dar al-Uium is quite appropriate. Looking to 
the present conditions of the time there can be no reason for the non- 
acceplance of those reasons which have been stated in the said resolution. 
The value of the remuneration for services rendered by every class and 
cadre in the world has become too high; hence the respected teachers and 
other employees of the Dar al-Ulum too have the right to a raise in 

"The AAajlis-e Shura, thanking the respected teachers, very gratefully 
acknowledges iheir self-sacrifice. These respected teachers, considering 
the teaching service in the Dar al-Ulum merely for the sake of Allah Most 
High a religious and national obligation, did not leave the Dar al-Ulum 
inspite of being invited tc other places on double and fourfold salaries; 
particularly the self-sacrifice of the dean, Maulana Anwar Shah, who 
deserves special thanks that he, having accepted the meagre sum offered 
by the Dar al-Ulum, totally declined to go to any other place on twofold 
and fourfold salary. The expressing of thanks to him is incumbent upon 
particularly the members of the Majlis-e Shura and generally upon the 
common sympathisers of the Dar al-Ulum, rather, upon all ihe followers 
of Islam. 

"The respected vice-chancellor has, along with his memorandum, 
compiled a list of all the employees attached to the Dar al-Ulum but there 
is no entry in it of his own name as well as that of his pro-vice-chancellor. 
This is also a self-sacrifice of sorts which has always continued to be 
a practice cf the said gentlemen. But as far as one can see, it will be' 
seen that whatever financial and administrative advancements have been 
made are the result of their great efforts and struggle; hence, in fact, 
there can be no remuneration for their services and the Majlis-e Shura is 
quite unable to propose it. Nevertheless, not to propose an increment 
for them on this occasion will be considered a great default, an act of 
ungratefulness and lack of appreciation on the part of the Majlis-e Shura. 
In view of this, an increment is entered herewith for both these gentle- 
men also". 1 

1. Rudad-e Majlis-e Shura, Rabi al-Awwal, A.H. 1340. 



In the particulars of the years A. H. 1341-42 the most important event 
is ihat regrettable incident of Shuddhi (lit., purification, i.e., conversion of 
the Muslims to Arya Samaj ) and Sanghaten (Hindu solidarity), which, 
diverting the Dar al-Ulum from its own internal affairs, had drawn all its at- 
tention to itself. This unpleasant incident in the history of India was an 
organised movement of the Arya Samaj started with the purpose of con- 
verting simple-minded Muslims, ignorant of Islam, to Arya beliefs. This 
movement looks very queer in the context of the polilics of that era and 
the Hindu-Muslim unity. To undersland it properly it is necessary to 
know its background. 

In the years 1920, 1921 and 1922, due to mutual help and co-opera- 
ticn between the Khilafat Movement and the Indian National Congress 
such strong bonds of friendship, unanimity and alliance had been forged 
between the Hindus and Muslims that both the communities had become 
very intimate with each other. The significant change that had appeared 
in the Hindus' practice of untouchability with ihe Muslims was that now 
they had begun to take sherbet and pan (betel-leaf) unrestrainedly from 
the Muslims' hands. Such were these conditions that had made the future 
ccntinuance of the British power in India difficult. The English, sensing 
the delicacy of the circumstances, made use of their old. favourite recipe 
of hatred and "divide and rule", which, unfortunately for India, proved 
to be their* sovereign remedy. The detail of this is that in 1922 the then 
viceroy (Lord Reading) summoned a great leader of the Non-co-operation 
Movement, Swami Shraddhanand, who was then in jail, and held a 
secret parleys with him. After this talk which was to be held a guarded 
secret, he was released from jail. As soon as he was out of jail, 1 Swami 
Shraddhanand started a movement for converting the Muslims to the 
Arya Samaj ideology. On the other hand, one Dr. Moonje established 
what is called Sanghatan, a purely Hindu organisation. 1 KeSari, a news- 
paper of Lahore, drew attention to the 'purification' of four and a half 
lakhs of Malkana neo-Muslim, Rajputs of Agra. Agra, Mathura, Etah, 
Itawa, Kanpur, Farrukhabad, Gurganwa and Mainpuri, etc., were the main 
centres off this movement. 

On this extremely delicate occasion the Dar al-Ulum did what be- 
seemed a religious institution, in this connection, before launching a 
defensive and counteractive action, the Dar al-Ulum first morally appealed 
to the All-India National Congress that using its catholic influences it cry 

1. Raushan Mustaqbil, 4th ed., p. 379. 


a halt to these aggressive activities which were fostering sentiments of 
hatred and animosity between the Hindus and the Muslims. The text of 
the resolution was as under :— 

"This council of the Dar al-Ulum emphatically requests the All-India 
Congress Committee that, considering the tumultuous circumstances of the 
country, it stop for the good of the country all those activities which 
appearing in the form of a strife, are provoking among the Hindus and 
Muslims the sentiments of hatred and antagonism and are proving to be 
the cause of darkening the horizon of the freedom of India, and in order 
to make peace and cleanse* the political atmosphere which was becoming 
disturbed day by day, it cause those preachers who are engaged in wag- 
ing a religious war of sorts to be recalled. However, no party has had 
the right to stop anyond from such religious preaching which, along with 
inter-communal tolerance, is of a reasonable and mild type". 

The following resolution was presented regarding the Sanghatan:— 

"Since in certain circles of the movement of the Hindu Sanghatan it 
has been so understood, rightly or wrongly, that it has been devised to 
be a powerful programme vis-a-vis the Muslims in order to bring the 
Hindus into clash with the Muslims, such a thinking has very severely 
injured and made alarming the peace of the counlry. Hen<:e ihis coun- 
cil proposes that the Alt-India Congress Commitlee strongly request the 
Hindu Mahasaba that, assessing these delicate and dangerous conditions 
through which our country is passing, it postpone the present form of 
Hindu solidarity from which the engendering of harmful dangers is be- 
ing always apprehended. However, when the atmospheVe of the coun- 
try becomes suitable and the conditions return to normalcy, the All-India 
Congress Committee be requested that it advise such plans to develop the 
physical strength of both Hindus and Muslims whereby both the commu- 
nities, severally and jointly, may protect their physical powers from ge- 
neral debility which is being observed today, more or less, in most of 
the individuals of both the communities, so that the country may acquire 
tha services of such of its sons, and the good people may be enabled to 
protect their life, wealth, honour and religion from the wicked ones". 

It can be called nothing but ill-luck of the country that at that time ihis 
conciliatory appeal of the Dar al-Ulum ended up as a cry in the wildernes. 
On the other hand, when news arrived incessantly in the Dar al-Ulum, 
through letters and newspapers, of the intolerable communal activities 
of the Aryal Samaj and the apostasy of the neo-Muslims, a delegation of 
preachers was dispatched on 12th"Jamadi al-Ukhra from the Dar al-Ulum. 


It was known from the report of the delegation that the movement of 
the Arya Samaj had spread in a very organised manner and on a very 
wide scale, and, therefore, to countercheck and counterwork more prea- 
chers, in sufficient numbers, were required. So, in pursuance of this sug- 
gestion/several other delegations consisting of the teachers and students 
of the Dar al-Ulum were sent one after another. Making Agra the base 
of preaching' activities, on office of the ulema of Deoband was opened 
there under the supervision of Maulana Meerok Shah, a teacher of the 
Dar al-Ulum, who used to dispatch preachers wherever they were need- 
ed. Thanks to Allah that as a result of the untiring efforts of the prea- 
chers countless renegades recanted and returned to the fold of Islam. 
The Muslims of those places where the movement of the Arya Samaj was 
in operation were generally simple-minded and ignorant of religion and 
hence they used to fall easy prey to the adversaries. The preachers, 
through sermons and preaching, re-acquainled the Malkana Rajputs 
(who were in fact neo-Muslims) with Islam, made arrangements for their 
religious education and opened madrasahs at various- places. At many 
places the Muslim missionaries had to break lance with the Arya prea- 
chers in which the preachers of the Dar al-Ulum were generally success- 

It appears from the informations which the preachers sent from time 
to time that initially they had to suffer various severe harassments from 
the perversities and cruelties of the recusant and recalcitrant Malkanas. 
In the earlier slages, when the preiaches reached Tasai, a village in the 
erstwhile Alwar state, the Malkanas refused to accommodate them; the 
Malkanas used to make fun of the preachers' ablution (wuzu) and when 
the latter would ask for water, they would answer with brickbats. But 
the preachers, putting up in mosque, went on bearing with the Malkanas' 
vexatious behaviour with fortitude and determination for a long time. 
When the preachers' cup of patience overbrimmed and success kept .eva- 
ding, willy-nilly they thought of returning. But at night some of them saw 
in dream that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him!) was busy 
smilingly in putting a check on the mischief of apostasy. This great good 
tiding revived and bolstered up their spirits, and, on the one hand, the 
condition of the Malkanas, by divine destiny, took a sudden turn and 
their vexatious harassment changed into acts of providing comforts. 

There is no denying the fact that during this delicate period many 
other institutions and societies besides the Dar al-Ulum participated more 
and more in the preaching efforts. The activities of th" Jami'at al- 
Ulama-e Hind were also not any the less in this field, so much so that 
when it also opened its missionary office at Agra, thfi Dar al-Ulum, ih 


order to maintain a joint position, Ihoughl it advisable to affiliate its own 
branch of preaching to the Jami'at's office. Accordingly, from Rabi al- 
Awwal, A.H. 1342, this decision was put into practice. But from the 
manner in which the common Muslims ond newspapers acknowledged the 
services of the Dar ahUtum, it appears ihat the efforts of the Dar a\- 
Ulum were much more extensive, organised and valuable. The newspa- 
per "Siyasat" (Lahore), in its issue of June 27, 1922, had written i "As 
far as the protection of religion, repudiation of the antagonists and refor- 
mation of the Muslims are concerned, the part of the teachers, preachers 
and organisers of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, far exceeds that of the whole 
of India. As for instance, if those unlimited efforts which the Arya Sa- 
maj put in against Islam are considered, i! wiil bs as clear as day to 
you thct one who stood face to face with these efforts more prominently, 
it was the Madrasah-e 'A'liya, Deoband, only and it can be claimed that 
the talks of true religion, Arabic sciences, Tafsir, Hadith and Fiqh, by 
Allah's help, are existing to a great extent due to the auspicious existence 
of Deoband". 

The newsdaily ''Zamindar" (Lahore) had stated : "It is needless to 
mention how valuable services the Dar al-Ulum is rendering in the preven- 
tion of the mischief of renegation; its teachers and students are active 
in achieving 1 his object with utmost concentration and it is an open fact 
that a real leaching institution is ihat which may enter the field of action 
in the hour of need". (Zamindar Lahore, June 24, 1923). 


This assault of the Arya Samaj was so severe that a mere "defensive 
attitude" was not sufficient to hold it at bay. Hence as an aggressive 
method, arrangement for the study of Sanskrit was made in the Dar al- 
Ulum to equip the preachers with the direct knowledge of the Arya creed. 
Moulavi Abu Re-hmat of Meerut who was weP-versed in Sanskrit was 
colled and entrusted with the task of teaching the preachers. By a 
strange co-incidence, Dr. Ghulam Muhammad also offered his services 
to the Dar al-Ulum. He was formerly a vigorous member of the Arya 
Samaj's preaching mission and a reputed scholar of Sanskrit, and, hav- 
ing been affected by the beauties of Islam during this very period, had 
entered the pale of Islam. With Dr. Ghulam Muhammad's attention and 
labour, in a short time a batch of such preachers was prepared from 
amongst the students of the Dar al-U!um who, besides polemics, had 
had sufficient proficiency in Sanskrit also, and besides counterblasting 
the opponents used to compel them to be on the defensive by directly 
attacking their religion. The effect of all this was that before long the 


adversaries' activities cooled down and the unpleasant communal aimos- 
phere which the Arya Samaj had created in the country being over, 
conditions reverted to the normal. 


The inevitable consequence of the severity and uproar wirh which 
the ferment of Shuddhi-Sangh?ein had arisen in A.H. 1341 was but this 
that the Muslims devoted- all their altention to it. This exigence of time 
in itself commanded much importance but it was also unescapable for 
the finances of the Dar al-Ulum to be affected by these conditions. In 
A.H. 1340 the average of income was Rs. 82,000 and expenditure 
Rs. 62,000. In A. H. 1341, the income suddenly dropped to Rs. 59,000 
and the expenditure rose to Rs. 62.000. However, in A.H. 1342, the 
previous deficit was made good to a great extent for in that year the in- 
come was Rs. 94,000 and expenditure only Rs. 79,000. But since the after- 
effects of the previous broil were still persisting the income in A.H. 1343 
again dipped to Rs. 73,000 and expenditure went upto Rs. 99,000. At 
all events, this uniformity of the ultimate resul's, despite the imbalance 
and ebb and flow of income and expenditure during this 4-year period, 
was amazing that all the affairs of the Dar al-Uium continued as usual 
without the slightest change,- it is, therefore, not improper to interpret 
this happening as a miracle of the Dar al-Ulum. 


It has been stated in the particulars of the year A.H. 1340 that the 
Nizam of the Deccan had called Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed to 
grace the post of Chief Mufti in the High Court for a period of three 
years. The Majlis-e Shura while sanctioning his leave for three years had 
decided that during his stay in Hyderabad his connection with the Dar 
al-Ulum would continue as usual. As such, all the important matters 
of the Dar al-Ulum were being discharged with his opinion and counsel, 
as has been stated in the foregone. Besides this, he used to come to 
Deoband every year for two, three months to render service to the Dar 
al-Ulum in person also. At the end of ihe 3-yeor period it was extended 
by one more year by a royal firman. But durinq this period of exten- 
sion his health deteriorated. When illness persisted, he tendered his resig- 
nation before the expiry of the period of extension and came back to Deo- 
band in the beginning of Rabi al-Awwal. The Nizam of the Deccan per- 
sonally attended the farewell-function in the Public Park, complimented 
his glorious services in glowing terms and issued a firman for starting a 
monthly pension of Rs. 500/- as a reward for his fine services. In fine. 




with as much unusual honour and respect this connection had begun, it 
came to a conclustion also with similar respect and dignity. 


Accepting his resignation the Nizam had said : "We want to appoint 
Maulana Habib al-Rahman Usmani in your place. Please inquire from him 
and give us the reply". Maulana Habib al-Rahman, in compliance of the 
order, accepted this relation and on 22nd Jamadi al-Ula went to Hydera- 
bad. But after (wo, three monlhs when the Vice-Chancellor's illness was 
protracted, the Majlis-e Shura decided to recall the Maulana. Accordingly, 
a petition was sent on behalf of the Majlis to the Nizam's court to kindly 
permit ihe Maulana's return to Deoband . Consequently, he left Hydera- 
bad and reached Deoband on 12th Rabi al-Awwal, A. H. 1345. 


After the Shaikh al-Hind's demise no holy and influential man could 
be selected so far for patronage. To fill up this important post the Majlis-e 
Shura, on Maulana Sa'eed al-Din's proposal, nominated Hazrat Thanvi un- 
animously for it. His lauded self, due to his many preoccupations, was 
initially not prepared to accept it but when the Majlis and the manage- 
ment insisted upon him too much, he at last accepted it. 


Though the Dar al-Ulum from ils very inception has been a victim, 
like the well-guided caliphate, of various misfortunes, an important one 
that befell it about the end of this year was the first of its kind in the 
history of the Dar al-Ulum. The misfortunes that had befallen it so far 
were of an external origin but this one had cropped up from within. 
Initially it began with accidental complaints of students against the ad- 
ministrators of certain departments; such complaints against administra- 
tors generally crap up everywhere. The late Mautavi Gu! Muhammad 
Khan was incharge of various departments like the kitchen, etc. The 
students had many grievances against him. On the occasion of the annual 
examination in the month of Sha'ban and right in the examination hall, 
these ordinary things all of a sudden adopted the shape of an incident 
which later on became a great and important disturbance in the history 
of the Dar al-Ulum. For the crime of indulging in the regrettable and 
insulting behaviour of man-handling Maulavi Gul Muhammad Khan, five 
students were rusticated and the administrators against whom the stu- 


dents had lodged complaints were effectively warned; but ihe rustication 
of students created excitement among a large body of students. In order 
to strengthen their demands the students established a party under the 
title "Lujnat al-lttehad". Considering this party to be a source of inter- 
ference in the administration 1he Dar al-Ulum declared it illegal. Mean- 
while, after the examinations were over, the annual vacation siarted; 
the students, therefore, went away to their native places and the disturb- 
ance subsided for the time being. 


Though ihe students' disturbance that had started the year before 
seemed at that time to be the outcome of transient condition ond the 
grievances of the students had been redressed in time, later on the in- 
cidents went on increasing and at every turn of the pace occurred such 
sudden changes which made the conditions much more severe. The stu- 
dents' party, Lujnat al-lttehad, founded a year before, not only survived 
but was also gaining strength day by day. But whatever had happened 
so far was confined to the students only — they had not received any 
support from the teachers — when, unexpectedly, Maulana Anwar Shah 
Kashmiri delivered, one after another, two speeches in support of the 
students' demands in the mosque of the Dar al-Ulum. Hazrat Maulana 
Mufti Aziz al-Rahman, Hazrat Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, Maulana 
Siraj Ahmed and some other teachers also joined hands with Shah Sahib, 
On the eve of the annual examination a demand was made from the side 
of the students for the removal of the steward from the kitchen . This de- 
mand was based on an ordinary conflict between the sieward and the 
students. On the one hand the management was taking exception to the 
legitimacy of this demand and, on the other, the students were adam- 
antly insisting upon the. removal of the steward of the kitchen. This pro- 
test grew into such proportions that declaring it to be an encroachment 
on the administration the insubordinate students who were very active 
in leading this agitation were expelled. This expulsion further intensified 
the excitement and now the Lujnat al-lttehad began to bring their de- 
mands to the notice of the whole country through newspapers. This star- 
ted a chain reaction and a long series of supporting and repudiating 
articles in newspapers continued to appear for a long time. 


To bring under control the conditions that were obtaining in the in- 
ternal administration of the Dar al-Ulum for nearly one year due to dis- 
sensions, the need was felt to give a wider scope comparatively to the 


powers of the management. Changes and alteration were made for this 
purpose in the constitution. For the patron's facility the Majlis-e Shura 
held its meeting at Thana Bhavan instead of Deoband. The details of 
the rules and regulations of the constitution will be presented under the 
heading 'Administration' in the coming pages. 


Besides amending and repealing some portions from the constitu- 
tion, the Majlis-e Shura, with a view to get help and co-operation and for 
reduction of .work, appointed a subsidiary committee (Executive Commit- 
tee) consisting of five members. In the selecting of these members it was 
kept in mind that they should be those residing in the vicinity of Deo- 
band so that, besides having the convenience of attending the monthly 
meetings, they also might inspect the Dar al-Ulum from time to time. 


The confusion created by dissensions that was going on in the Dar 
al-Ulum during the past two years used to subside sometimes but would 

not be removed totally and hence even after subsiding and sinking down 
it used to shoot up conspicuously again and again. In Ziqa'da, A.H. 

1346, Shah Sahib went on leave to his native Kashmir and in Safar, A. H. 

1346, he sent his letter of resignation from ihere. On 2nd Rabi al-Awwal 

he came back to Deoband but since he had resigned from the Dar al- 
Ulum, he did not begin teaching. The personality of the dean in the Dar 

al-Ulum has always been held important; naturally, therefore, his est- 
rangement was sure to affect ihe students. As such, on and from 3rd 

Rabi al-Awwal, i.e., on the second day of Shah Sahib's return, Lujnat 
al-lttehad, launched an educational strike, which continued for ten days. 
This was the first instance of educational boycott in the Dar al-Ulum. 
Through the effort and endeovour of Maulana Mufti Kifayat Allah and 

Maulana Ahmed Sa'eed Dehelvi a compromise was apparently made for 

some time as an immediate result of which the strike was called off then. 1 

1. This dissension that had started tfi A.H. 1344 continued almost upto A.H. 
1347. The detailed particulars of the same are - mentioned in the records 
of the Dar al-Ulum and its annual reports, as also in the files of newspapers, 
"Al-Ansar" and "Muhajir", which were published in this connection. But it 
is obvious that these were transient things; now neither those conditions ob- 
tain nor the details of these happenings have any useful aspect in them. 
The present writer, therefore, considers it sufficient to state only those points 
of the events whereby the important aspects of the events may come before 
the reader. 
In view of the qreat ones of both the parties and their knowledge and sccom- 


In early Rajab a meeting of the Majlis-e Shura was held in which, 
on account of their divergence, Hazrat Mufti Sahib and Maulana Siraj 
Ahmed, a teacher of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, were requested to tender 
their resignations. As a protest against this development some other 
teachers also tendered their resignations. At this the students, by way of 
protest, declared a strike for the second time. It is necessary to point out 
here that during this whole period of dissidence the teachers and the 
taught had devided into two factions. One of these consisting of those 
students who belonged to the Jami'at al-Talaba was siding with the mana- 
gement, and the other which had made demands and launched the strikes 

(Foot-note continued) : 

plishments, honesty and integrity, and fear of Allah and piety, the nature of 
these divergences should be considered based on honest difference of opi- 
nion, even as the divergence and disputes of many Companions and Imams 
(May Allah be pleased with them!) have been described in the pages of his- 
tory. Divergence of opinion is a natural trait of the human disposition. In 
the prophetic language it has been said about it : "Divergence of the ummah 
is a mercy", provided of course, if it is based on bona fides. In A.H. 1355 
when Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani came to the Dar al-Ulum as its 
chancellor, he, stating the causes of this dissension and confusion in 
a public gathering had said in a verv succinct manner : "Even as the result 
of boil and ferment, agitation and storm in the sea during a particular season 
appears in the form of vapours that form into black squalls which becom-3 
the immediate cause of the freshness and greenness of the earth, particularly 
when the earth, due to its dryness and thirst, is in dire need of water. But 
when there is billowing and agitation in the sea due to its boiling, soma 
partial losses are also caused which very often endanger even the mighty 
sailing ships. However, the people who have an eye upon Allah's mature 
wisdom, they do perceive that there must be some absolute benefit in this 
loss also. Though this cyclonic agitation and boiling of the sea does in- 
volve some people in distress and destruction, the Divine Will has in view 
some great benefit and provision of life from the same for the creatures. 
Exactly like this a storm, an agilation, a surf aiose in the academic sea of 
the Dar al-Ulum and its waves clashed with each other. This surging and 
commotion of the sea did cause some losses but the vapoury clouds that 
rose from here burst as clouds of mercy on the remote land of Gujarat which 
was then absolutely deprived of and destitute in knowledge and the Holy 
Prophet's (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him!) sunnah. By the arri- 
val of the ulema of Deoband there the magnificent madrasah that came into 
existence at Dabhel (Dist. Surat) is today watering every part of Gujarat with 
its academic benefits, and the land of innovations (bid'at) of Gujarat, thank 
Allah, is today illuminated with the light of the Quran and the Sunnah" 
So this is the outcome, in Allamah Usmani's words, of that surging and boil- 
ing ol the academic sea of the Dar al-Ulum which kept uo continuously for 
three, four years a storm and commotion in the otherwise placid milieu of 
the Dar al-Ulum raging and raving. Truly has said someone : "Sometimes 
God raises an evil in which there may be our good". 

S. M. Rizvi 


belonged to the Lujnat al-lttefiad and was attached to Hazrat Shah Sahib. 
The former faction not only did not* participate in the strike but also con- 
tended with the latter very enthusiastically. This was the last month of 
the academic year. To bring the circumstances under control the dates 
of examinations were extended. Two-thirds of the students took the 
examinations and the rest continued, their strike as usual. 

After the second strike the formal relation of Hazrat Shah Sahib and 

other teachers and students who saw eye to eye with him was completely 

cut off; moreover, all those students who were interested in Lujnat al- 
Ittehad were dismissed from the Dar al-Ulum. 


Affected by the dissatisfaction, which was being expressed through 
newspapers for the past two, three years regarding the administration and 
accounts of the Dar a!-Ulum, able persons from several places came to the 
Dar al-Ulum at different times, inspected the affairs and audited the 
accounts. In this connection the Nizam of the Deccan appointed Dr. 
Sayyid Muhi al-Din, assistant director in the education department, Hyde- 
rabad, to audit the accounts of the Dar al-Ulum. Dr. Sayyid came to Deo- 
band in early Muharram with a team of accountants from his education 
department. They stayed for several days, checked the accounts, observ- 
ed the teachers' method and style of teaching and inquired inlo the affairs 
of the different departments. 

While welcoming the Nizam's atlention and concern in the written 
statement which Maulana Habib al-Rahman, vice-chancellor of the Dar al- 
Ulum, put before Dr. Sayyid, he also threw light on the working of the 
Dar al-Ulum in the following words :— 

"The current particulars of the Dar al-Ulum are divided into four 
parts: (1) Accounts of the Dar al-Ulum, (2) Arrangements of the Dar al-Ulum, 
(3) Principle of the Dar al-Ulum, and (4) Dissensions in the Dar al-Ulum, 
As regards the accounts of the Dar al-Ulum I want to say only this much 
that if any defalcation is proved then, undoubtedly, the removal of the 
present vice-chancellor is necessary. In respect of the arrangements of the 
Dar al-Ulum the principle observed is to provide facility in working. The 
Dar al-Ulum never claimed nor can ever claim that its arrangements are 
free from defects; in fact no one can claim this. The servants of the Dar 
al-Ulum are always in search of shortcomings and flaws and try to rectify 
them, and do not backslide from reasonable advice and correction". 


The excellence, soundness and neatness of the educational affairs 
and accounts of the Dar al-Ulum impressed Dr. Sayyid very much. The 
report that he presented about the Dar al-Ulum completely satisfied the' 
Nizam also. 


The Nizam of the Deccan had expressed before Hafiz Sahib, when the 
latter was gracing the great post of If 1a in Hyderabad, his desire to see 
the Dar al-Ulum. In the beginning of this year the authorities of the Dar 
al-Ulum opined that Hafiz Sahib himself go personally to Hyderabad to 
remind the Nizom of his promise and invite him on behalf of the Dar 
al-Ulum to condescend to take the trouble of visiting it. Hafiz Sahib, in 
spite of his old age and too much weakness and debility complied with the 
parly's wish and prepared to undertake this long journey to the Deccan. 
On 28th Rabi ai-Thani he started for Hyderabad. Reaching there he had 
a telephonic talk with the Nizam and fixed a time of audience with him. 
But divine destiny had intended something else. On the day of appoint- 
ment there was suddenly such a severe attack of piles — an ailment he had 
been suffering from for o long time — that the physical faculties began 
to slump and ihe severity of the disease reached a state of despair. When 
there remained no possibility of a meeting with the Nizam, it was decided 
1o take him to Deoband with all possible haste. An entire compartment 
of the second class bogie was reserved and he started with all his journey- 
ccmpanions in the morning of 3rd Jamadi al-Ula from Hyderabad for 
Decband. When the train reached the Nizamabad railway station, re- 
membrance (zikr) of Allah was current on his tongue. The fingers were 
folded on the figure of 29 when, with the word of Allah, the soul left 
the body. May Allah have extensive mercy on him ! 

The dead body was taken out of the train at the Nizamabad railway 
station. No sooner did the news reach the town than a vast concourse of 
people gathered there and the bier was prepared. Relatives and the 
Nizam were intimated telegraphically. In his reply the Nizam asked the 
bier to be taken to Hyderabad. In compliance with his wish it was taken 
there. Between Nizamabad and Hyderabad funeral service was held at 
several places. Next day, on 4th Jamadi al-Ula, before the Asr prayer, 
this martyr of the-death-in-journey, as per the Nizam's proposal, was laid 
to rest with royal honours in the special graveyard of Hyderabad built and 
reserved by the Nizam himself under the name "Kitta-e Saulihin" ("the 
Yard of the Pious") for great and respectable people. The Nizam spoke 
with deep feeling in the condolence speech he delivered in the mosque of 


the Public Park i "Alas! He had come to take me to Deoband but he 
himself dwelt here". 

The period of Hafiz Sahib's vice-chancellorship is in fact a golden and 
brilliant chapter in the history of the Dar al-Ulum. On account of the 
great services he rendered to the Dor al-Ulum and the magnificent and 
all-sided progress the Dar al-Ulum made during his stewardship, his de- 
mise was considered a stupendous shock to the community throughout the 
country. Condolence meetings were held ihroughout the length and 
breadth of India in which he was paid glowing tributes and recompense 
was remitted to his departed soul through concelebrations. These details 
will be presented in his biographical sketch. 


The deep wound Hafiz Sahib's death had inflicred upon the Dar al- 
Uium, rather the whole group, the year before had as yet not healed when 
this year occurred the shocking incident of AAaulana Habib al-Rahman 
Usmani's demise. 

It is stated in the report for the year. A.H. 1348:— 

"This year in respect of the success of the objectives of the Dar al- 
Ulum was a successful year. As compared with the past years, this year 
the departments had readied the acme of progress. The strength of the 
students, the range of income and expenditure, increase in outfit and 
the plenitude of public resort — all were progressing". 

"But in the midst of this abundance of progress such a painful inci- 
dent was also ordained by divine destiny for the Dar al-Ulum which, in 
its campus and as regards its history, will be always looked at sorrow- 
fully; and though we may not eonsirue it as a decline cf the Dar a!-Ulum, 
on account of our natural feelings we cannot hep saying at least this 
much that this occurrence made ail kinds of progress murky and the joys 
of the past could not overcoms the grief of the present. This was the in- 
cident of the sad demise of the Pride of India Maulana Habib al-Rahman 
Usmani which threw a pall of sorrow and gloom over thin sanctuary of 
knowledge and action once again after A.H. 1347. As yet she soul-mel- 
ting incident of the past year, that is, the scar of the permanent separation 
of the chancellor in A.H. 1347, had not been effaced from our 
hearts when in A.H. 1348 this soul-crushing accident still more deepened 
that wound". 


The date of 3rd Rajab, A.H. 1348 was a calamitous date in the history 
of the Dar al-Ulum when at 8-00 p.m. the Dar ai-Ulum was being deprived 
of the graces and blessings of tnis auspicious being, turnmg every man into 
a picture of gloom. The orphanhood that had beset the Dar al-Ulum in A. H. 
1347 was completed on this date of A.H. 1343. In the night between 3rd 
and 4th Rajab the holy corpse was put in the vice-chancellor's office to lie 
in state. The charpoy which his sacred body had graced for thirty years 
hod becomei that night the cause of gloom and grief for all the attendants 
as a bier. It was Friday on 4th Rajab. The obsequial duties were per- 
formed early in the morning. At about 1 0-C'O a.m. Maulana Qari Mu- 
hammad Tayyib led the funeral service. There was as if no end to the 
concourse of mourners; the courtyard of the Dar al-Ulum was fully crowd- 
ed, students and townspeople surging and squashing ail over. The bier 
reached the Qasimi graveyard at about 11-00 a.m. and, at 12-00 noon, 
entrusting this treasure of knowledge and action, this depository of wisdom 
and sagacity, to the dust, all Ihe people came away empty-handed. "We 
belong unto Allah and unto Him is the retreat"! 

In respect of his determination and perseverance, courage and daring, 
wisdom and prudence, thought and insight, and, above all, his extraordi- 
nary administrative ability, considering all these qualities of his, his death 
had been acknowledged to be exceptional and singular. His vast know- 
ledge of history and literature was fabulous and famous. From the his- 
torical point of view, his momentous and popular book entitled lsha'at-e 
Islam is a prodigious masterpiece and a great memento. Besides this, 
several other literary compilations like Lamiat ui-Mua'jizat and Qasida-e 
Munajalia (Arabic qasidas) etc. are a just witness to his abilities. 


About the end of A. H. 1339, a member of the Majlis-e Shura, Maulana 
Sa'eed al-Din Rarnpuri, had made a proposal in the Majlis that "the ho- 
nourable vice-chancellor has become weak due to old age and although 
these gentlemen (he and his colleague) have not so far let come any laxity 
or discrepancy in their services, it is the duty of the Majlis-e Shura that 
perceiving this matter it adopt such means whereby these gentlemen, on 
the whole, receive help in their functions". The text of the proposal was 
as under :— 

"Whatever services the honourable vice-chancellor and the pro-vice- 
chancellor (may Allah keep them safe !) have rendered are as clear as the 
sun. Now due to demands of old age and different ailments both of 
them have become weak. Although they do not let any laxity come in 



their services to the Dar al-Ulum, it is the .duty of the Majlis-e Shura thai 
it, perceiving tms wader, proviue such means wnereby botn. these gentle- 
men particularly ger assistance in the discharging ot their functions. 
Hence it is necessary to propose the cieation of a post tor a second pro- 
vice-chancellor (or recior), and it is necessary that on this post is appointed 
a highly educated, high-bred and influential man, having as true and 
sincere sympathy tor the Dar al-Ulum as these two gentlemen have. So, 
as per my opinion, I propose Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib (may 
Allah keep him safe!) tor this post. "I he said Maulana is young, virtuous, 
learned, a scion of a noble family and has had ancestral sympathy, true 
and sincere, for the Dar al-Ulum, from generation to generation, 

"The honourable vice-chancellor is the son of Maulana Muhammad 
Qasim (Allah's mercy be on him!) and Maulana Muhammad Tayyib is 
his grandson. During the regime of the present vice-chancellor, whatever 
progress was made in income, addition in the teaching classes, increase 
in the number of students, and whatever dignity and rank the Dar al- 
Ulum achieved from day to day in remote countries outside India gene- 
rally, the Dar al-Ulum itself is an evidence personified thereof. Hence the 
obligation devolves upon the well-wishers of the Dar al-Ulum in general 
and on the Majlis-e Shura in particular that the administration of the Dar 
al-Ulum should be entrusted to a member of this family on the condition of 
ability and capacity so that the spiritual grace which has been helpful and 
useful in the advancement of the institution may continue". 1 

In compliance with this proposal of the Majlis, in A.H. 1341, Maulana 
Qari Muhammad Tayyib was appointed pro-vice-chancellor. But this post 
did not suit his temperament; it was against his grain. Keeping off from 
administrative affairs, he used to like and pay full attention to academic 
and educational occupations. As such, after a short while, of his own volition 
and insistence, he got himself transferred to the teaching department. 
But, at last, the insistence of his elders compelled him to take charge again 
as pro-vice-chancellor, on which post he served till Rajab, A.H. 1348. 
After Maulana Habib al-Rahman Usmani's demise, the Majlis-e Shura, by 
way of a first trial, made him officiating vice-chancellor, and when it 
became certain that he had ample competence to discharge the functions 
of this post, he was confirmed as a permanent vice-chancellor with the 
following decision. The resolution of the Majlis was. as under :— 

"We, the members of the Majlis-e Shura, Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, 
staying in ihe Dar al-Ulum from 18th Shawwal to 21st Shawwal, A.H, 
1348, inspected all the departments of the Dar al-Ulum thoroughly, and 
decided, without fear or favour, all the debatable matters presented before 

1. Register Tajawiz-e Majlis-e Shura, A.H. 1340. 


the Majlis-e Shura by the vice-chancellor. We, the members, bear wit- 
ness to the fact that from the time Maulavi Muhammad Tayyib has taken 
the reins of vice-chancellorship into his own hands; integrity and sincerity 
of intention as well as love and hatred for the sake of Allah, as also resolu- 
teness, steadiness and perseverance in 1he discharge of rights and devotion 
to duty, ore amply proved. 'And many' pure and auspicious praises be to 
Allah for this'! We all have a firm hope from Allah's grace and magnani- 
mity that the good qualities that have been displayed by the vice-chan- 
cellor will, in future, Allah willing, appear manifold. 'That is not a hard 
thing for Allah'. These words have wrung out of our hearts spontane- 
ously, admitting neither affectation nor applause for the vice-chancellor's 


Due to the ever-growing number of students the mosque of the Dar 
al-Ulum had become less roomy; in sun and rain particularly there used 
to be much inconvenience. Hence the first active proposal that Maulana 
Qarr Tayyib penned as vice-chancellor concerned the building of the upper 
storey of the mosque. The courtyard of the mosque also was extended 
in the eastern direction and the water-fountain which was previously at 
the end of the courtyard now, after extension, came near its centre. All 
the expense^ for this construction were paid by Sayyid Zain al-Abidin of 
Hyderabad. And the imposing building of the Dar al-Hadith which was 
under construction* for a long time was, thanks to Allah, competed in all 
its aspects. 


A proposal was under consideration in the Dar al-Ulum for quite some 
time that even as higher education of Hadith was being given through the 
Daura-e Hadith, it was necessary to introduce Daura-e Tofsir also into' the 
curriculum for creating insight in Tafsir. In the discipline of Tafsir so far 
only Sura-e Baqrah of the Jelalayn and Tafsir-e Baizctwi was included in 
the syllabus. The teaching of these books did create so much aptitude 
and earnestness in understanding the Quran that a student, after complet- 
ing his education, could acquire more insight through self-study, and, when 
required, could derive benefit, on the whole, from the Quranic verses. But 
since all people do not have such favourable circumstances that they may, 
after the educational career in an institution is over, continue to have 
daily practice of studying the sciences and add still more to their know- 
ledge and information, it was considered necessary that during the period 

1. Rudad for A.H. 1348-49, p. "H". 


of education itself a store of detailed information concerning Tafsir should 
be provided so that later on if the student might not get a chance to read 
more books, the stored knowledge of Tafsir might make it good to some 

In the Islamic madrasahs of India, prior to the period of Hazrat Shah 
Wali Allah, the condition of the science of Hadith too was the same. The 
study of Mishkat al-Mctsabih end Mashariq til-Anwar was considered 
sufficient. Shah Sahib was the first person who altered this old method 
and raised the standard of the teaching of Hadith. The Dar al-Ulum 
adopted this standard and disseminated it duly; it is for this reason that 
the Daura-e Hadith for the teaching of Hadith in the Dar al-Ulum has 
always had a distinct posiiion. 

Along with starting the Daura-e Tafsir two more standard exegetic 
works were included in the syllabus : Tafsir-e Baizawi and Tafsir-e Ibn 
Kathir. Both these books are considered very important in the Science of 
Tafsir ■fpr the proper understanding of the holy Quran. Prior to starting 
the Daura-e Tafsir, it is compulsory preliminarily to read first the Jalalayn 
and, in the principles of Tafsir, Al-Fcigz al-Kebir, With the advent of the 
Daura-e Tafsir in the Dar al-Ulum the standard of the Science of Tafsir too, 
like that of the Science of Hadith, has become very high. 


The teaching of cantillation Uajvid) had begun in the Dar al-Ulum in 
A.H. 1321 but so far its practice and learning was optional for the students. 
From this year it was made compulsory and a rule was made that as 
long as the student did not practice the Para-e Amm, he should not be 
awarded the degree (lit., the sanad of completion). 


Initially, when the proposal of Dar al-Hadith was under conside- 
ration, there was a suggestion that the building of the Dar al-H-adith 
should be built above the Nav-darah. Accordingly, its foundation-stone 
too had been laid. But later on, according to other suggestions, in A.H. 
1333, the construction of the Dar al-Hadith was begun on the back side 
of the Nav-darah instead of upon it, and v/ithin a few years, due to 
the attention of and generous spending by charitable Muslims a very 
magnificent building was erected, having a very spacious hall and seve- 
ral large rooms. It is the first building of its kind among the Islamic 
institutions of India- but exactly twenty years after the beginning of its 


construction the need was felt due to the ever-increasing number of stu- 
dents that another hall as per the proposed plan of A.H. 1339 should be 
built above the Nav-darah for the teaching of Hadith. Accordingly, in 
A.H. 1352, its construction was started and in a few years this grand 
hall was also completed. 


The system of admission of . students prevalent so far was some- 
what mazy and cumbersome. The students had to submit hand-written 
application for getting admission and due to lack of order and arrange- 
ment in this system, the giving of priority to some and the causing of delay 
to others in giving admissions, most often caused much inconvenience and 
trouble to the candidates. To remove this discrepancy, forms of admi- 
ssion were printed and introduced from this year. Now the old and 
fresh students have to fill up separate forms, and ihe arrangement is 
such that the application-form may pass through all the departments, 
concerned within a week so that all the requirements of admission, re- 
levant lessons, time-table, distribution of books, issue of stipends and the 
arrangement tor hostel-seat may be done in time. 


Like the rules of admission, suitable improvement was made in the 
system of the distribution of food also. The system current so far was 
that the students used to go to the kitchen at the scheduled hours and 
used to bring their food as per chance. Besides crowding and scram- 
bling, one great defect in this system wos that it used to be difficult to 
find out whether a student had not taken his food or had taken it twice. 
This thing was dependent merely on the memory of the distributor of 
food. So, to regularize the system, round aluminium tickets were pre- 
pared bolh for morning and evening meals, the words 'morning' and 
'evening' clearly engraved on them and both the sets given distinct co- 
lours, Numbeis have also been engraved on the tickets, each number 
having two tickets. The students' names are entered in the kitchen register in 
serial order, and the tickef of a student bears the same number which is 
written against his number in the register. When a ticket is surrendered 
by a student, another ticket of the same number is issued to him for the 
next meal. The distributor of tickets gives food after checking the 
ticket-number. While this system has created ease and facility for the 
students, the establishment of order and discipline in distribution has 
also done away with the apprehension of anyone's taking food twice. More- 
over, if any student is absent at the time of the distribution of food, 


it can be easily traced and, most important of all, food is distributed 
easily and quickly to one thousand students within an hour, 


In Shawwal, A.H. 1353, Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib went for 
pilgrimage to the House of Allah at the holy Mecca. There Shah Niyaz 
Ahmed, who was a spiritual successor (khalifa) of the Shaikh al-Masha'ikh 
Haji Imdad Allah Mahajir-e Makki (may his secret be sanctified!), donated 
six thousand rupees; for the Dar al-Ulum. It will not be inappropriate if 
this valuable sum, besides being the donation of a possessor of spiritual 
connection (sahib-e nisba) and a saintly man, is interpreted as a glorious 
gift from the land of the holy of holies — the House of Allah. This was 
most probably the first occasion of aid to any remotest institution from 
the holy land. 


There is no superannualioivlimit in the service of the Dar al-Ulum. 
As long as an employee is physically fit and sound to discharge his 
assigned duties, it is not liked to be deprived of his consummate know- 
ledge and experience of work. But when the physical faculties decline 
and superannuation becomes inevitable, the services of an old employee 
amply demand that he be treated with benevolence, condescension and 
protection. No rule had been fixed for it so far. When Maulana Mu- 
hammad Yasin and Munshi Manzoor Ahmed who had been rendering 
teaching service for nearly forly years in the Persian class were retired, 
the Majlts-e Shura, in view of their long service, decided to award pension 
to them. 


The year before, during the period of the vice-chancellor's journey 
for pilgrimage, Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani had been appointed as 
acting vice-chancellor. In A.H. 1354, the Majlis-e Shura, in view of his 
great personality and learning, selected him for presiding over the ma- 
nagement os chancellor. At that time his permanent residence was at 
the famous madrasah of Gujarat at Dabhel and he was not prepared 
to break off his relations from there completely. So initially the situa- 
tion was such that he would slay alternately at Dabhel for some time and 
at Deoband for some time. But at last the centrality of the Dar al-Ulum 
drew him to Deoband. 



Among the important events of this year one is that of patronage. 
From the incipience the form of patronage of the Dar al-Ulum was -this 
that 1he personality who used to be more distinguished than others in 
the group in terms of knowledge and accomplishments, abstinence and 
piety, auguslness and soundness of judgement, was considered to be the 
referee in the administrative affairs of the Dar al-Ulum and the Majlis-e 
Shura, as regards the decisions of its proposals, used to refer to him. 
But there was no regular regulation for this; and the fact is also this that 
in the Dar al-Ulum, instead of the procedures of show and display, ihe 
discharging of works in fact has been dependent mostly on uprightness, 
morality, sincerity and love for Allah. The purport of the patron's powers 
was this that in case of divergence of opinion among the members the de- 
cision used to be made according to ihe patron's opinion, whether or 
not it might be on the minority side. However, if the members passed 
anything unanimously and the patron happened to differ from it, then 
he would send it back giving the reasons of his dissent, supported with 
arguments, in writing, to the Majlis for reconsideration. In such a 
case if the Majlis would not recant from its former opinion, then, how- 
ever, the opinion of the Majlis would continue as before and would be 
enforced without the patron's assent. 

■ tn A.H. 13-45 when laws for she administrative affairs were codifiod, 
the procedure mentioned above was regularised. But in A.H. 1343 there 
cropped up such conditions that divergence of opinion was created in 
this regard in the Majlis-e Shura. The opinion of one group was in favour 
of this procedure while the other group was interpreting it as the help- 
lessness of the Majlis ond Us being unneedful, and wanted to make the 
majority opinion as the pivot of decision. As such, this problem came 
under discussion in several sittings of the Majlis. Maulana Hazrat Thanvi 
who was patron of the Dar al-IJium since A.H. 1344, resigned of his own 
accord expediently from patronship. In Rajab, A.H. 1354, the Majlis-e 
Shura accepted this resignation in the following words : — 

"This meeting of the Majlis-e Shura, with thorough deliberation and 
keeping in mind the respectability, sanctity and greatness of his, most re- 
gretfully accepts Hazrat Maulana Thanvi's (may his shadow never grow 
less!) resignation and requests his lauded self to cast his shadow always 
on the Dar al-Ulum with his pious invocations and lofty favours". 1 


In connection with the organizing of the graduates of the Dar at- 

1. Rudad-o Majlia-e Shura, 30th Rajab. A.H. 1354. 


Ulum and lis well-wisliers, surplusage of income, preservation of docu- 
ments and records, and physical exercise of students, the following three 
departments were established :— 


The purpose behind the establishment of this department 
was to establish through literature and practical work such a body in the 
country in the name of the graduates and well-wishers of the Dar al- 
Ulum which would universalize ihe effecls of the Dar ai-Ulum and every 
member would contribute at least one rupee per annum. In this conne- 
ction, for surplusage of income envoys are employed as per need, to 
whom the different parts of the country are assigned. These envoys work 
in their assigned areas. The details of the performance of this depart- 
ment of organization and pi ogress will be presented in the coming pages. 


So far the papers, records, registers, etc. of the different departments 
of the Dar al-Ulum were being kept in the offices only. There was no 
regular arrangement and classification nor a catalogued memorandum, 
wherefore great difficulties were experienced in finding out the required 
papers whenever any need arose. The long age and vast affairs of the 
Dar al-Ulum had added to these difficulties still more. The papers used 
to remain scattered in different departments. Moreover, discrepancies thai 
remained in the official papers used to become very harmful later on. 
To remove this drawback and difficulty a department named Muhafiz 
Khana (Record Office) was established and all the previous files of re- 
cords, papers and documents were transferred to it. Now these are kept 
with proper arrangement and order so that the required papers can be 
found easily whenever needed and can be disposed off in time as per the 
official regulation. At the time of writing this book 114-year old record of 
the Dar al-Ulum is safe in the Record Office. 


It needs no mention how much necessary is recreation and physical 
exercise for the maintenance of health; it is extremely necessary parti- 
cularly for the students who keep themselves engaged in mental toiling 
day and night. Though the students till now used to play different games 
in their leisure-hours, there was no fixed arrangement and programme 
for it. In view of this important necessity it was systematically arranged 
and a separate department under the name "Shoba'-e Warzish-e Jisrnani" 


("Department of Physical Exercise") was opened to offset the effects of 
mental labour and to provide recreation and satisfactory help through 
physical exercise for the development of She body and the acquirement 
of energy, stamina and strength. Moreover, it was also meant to obviate 
the danger ab initio of the students' resorting to immoral and wasteful 
amusemenls and pastimes. 

In this department, besides various kinds of physical exercise, club- 
fighting, cudgel-play and tac-au-tac are also taught. 


At this time a powerful delegation of the ulema of Jama-e Azhar 
consisting of prominent professors was in India. At the invitation of 
the Dar al-Ulum the members of the delegation came to visit the Dar al- £ 

Ulum in the evening of 2nd Zil qa'da, A.H. 1355. Next day they inspected 
the Dar al-Ulum. The delegation-members, on observing the teachers' 
diligence and application, the plurality of lessons, and the teaching of 
various arts and sciences, were feeling amazed. As such, the leader of 
the delegation. Shaikh Ibrahim al-Jibali, expressed his amazement again 
and again. He could not believe how the same teacher could teach for 
five-six hours at a stretch several higher books of different sciences and 
how he could acquire such comprehensive knowledge of those sciences. 

After the inspection an address was presented in ihe welcome-func- 
ticn, replying which the leader of the delegation thanked the Dar al- 
Ulum and complimenting it on its academic servies expressed in em- 
phatic terms the desire for strengthening still more the mutual ties bet- 
ween the Dar a!-U!um and the Jama-e Azhar. 


During the year under discussion, besides the usual daily happenings 
and occurrences, seven separate buildings were constructed. The first 
amongst theseis the Institute of Persian which is situated near the old Per- 
sian classes and is named "Yadgar-e Sa'di" as a memorial to Shaikh Sa'di 
Shirazi (Allah's mercy be on him!). The expenses for its construction were 
borne by Sarwar Khan Gattadar of Hyderabad. 

The second is the double-storeyed building of the Record Office, situa- 
ted in the southern direction of the Vice-chancellor's Office. 

The third concerns the completion of the students' new hostel. The 
details regarding it (as derived from the vice-chancellor's notes) are 


that curing the time of Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed and Maulana 
Habib al-Rahman only five rooms could be constructed in the north-wes- 
tern direction, though this grand hostel, as per plan, was to consist of 52 
rooms. Then work had to be stopped for want of funds and Allah alone 
knows how long this big building would have taken to complete with the 
ordinary daily donations. So Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, the present 
vice-chancellor, undertook a journey to Hyderabad (Deccan) in order to ob- 
tain a big donation in a lump sum. The chief minister of thel Hyderabad 
state then was Sir Akbar Hyderi. The Maulana, through the good offices 
of the la'e Nawab Abd al-Basit Khan, took an appointment to meet him.. 
During the course of meeting, the Maulana, throwing light upon the pur- 
pose of his visit, said : "47 rooms of the new hostel still remain to be 
built, which is a royal type of work that can be completed only by a 
munificent religion-loving royalty and that, for us, in the period, is the 
Asafyah state of the Deccan only. You are its practical head at the time. 
Should you be lavish in it, your regime would be a memorable period ' 
and your name would always be remembered with respect in the acade- 
mic circles. Sir Akbar Hyderi, impressed by these words, said : "I will 
try in this matter sympathetically. My plan is like this : His Exalted High- 
ness the Nizam's cother has died; in the name of remitting recompense 
(thavab) to her, you please submit a petition in his exal'ed court, request- 
ing for financial aid to the educational institutions and incidentally men- 
tion the Dar al-Ulum also. Whatever amount he sanctions, half of it will be 
given to the Dar al-Ulum and the other half we will keep for the local 
educational works". As per this suggestion, the Maulana sent a letter to 
that effect to Sir Hyderi to be presented in the exalted court. On it Sir 
Hyderi wrote a recommendatory note for one lakh of rupees. This peti- 
tion was presented in the court the very day and the munificent Nawab 
not only sanctioned it but also changed the figure one to two and thus 
granted two lakhs of rupees, which made the Maulana unusually glad, for 
he had gone there expecting only fifty to sixty thousand as the con- 
struction of a room did not cost more than a thousand rupees in those 
days, Maulana Hakim Maqsud Ali Khan Hyderabad!, a member of the 
Majlis-e Shura, congratulated the Maulana on the phone and remarked : 
"This is the first incident of its kind in this regior\ that without having to 
make rounds of the bureaucratic offices a petition was sanctioned on the 
very day of its presentation and twofold of the amount solicited was re- 
ceived". Sir Akbar Hyderi appointed a committee for this amount and 
also wrots his opinion that the said amount be deposited in a bank and 
stipends be issued from its interest to the students of the Deccan. 
With great daring the Maulana took another appointment to meet Sir 
Akbar Hyderi and when they met, pointed out in rather an unpleasant 
tone the breach of promise on his part and came away regretfully, at 


which Sir Hyderi could not say any.hing but observed a repentent silence. 


With this regret the Maulana returned to Deoband and thereafter 
undertook a journey to Madras where he stayed at the house of Mareet 
Haji isma'il who owed allegiance to the iate Maulana Hafiz Muhammad 
Ahmed. Qari Sahib related the whole incident to Haji Isma'il and said : 
"Now you gentlemen have to make amends for this grief and sorrow of 
■mine". Mareet Haji Sahib was very much moved and said : "Give us 
simply an appeal in writing; we will work and you will not have to go 
anywhere". Thus within only the first ten days of Ramazan he collected 
Rs. 47,000/-, and giving it to Qari Sahib, said : "!f you allot the remain- 
ing part of Ramazan also to us,, this amount can reach up to one lakh". 
But he replied : "When Allah Most High hath given us the requisite amount, 
there is no need of craving for more". Accordingly, with this amount 
all the rooms of the new hosfei, except the main gate (which is known as 
Bab al-Zahir were completed. 1 


The need for □ separate road to connect the Dor al-Ulum with the 
railway station was being felt for n long time. In 1937 when national 
government was established in seven provinces of the country, the atten- 
tion of the provincial government of U. P. was drawn to this need, in 
this connection Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, the Minister of Communications 
in U. P., was invited to come and see this need for himself. Accordingly, 
on May 31, 1938, he came to Deoband. Besides the elders and students 
of the Dar al-Ulum, prominent citizens of the town and district Saharan- 
pur, officers of the Irrigation Department and Municipal Board were also 
present at the railway station to welcome him. His dignified procession 
started from the station and passing through the decorated bazars of the 
town reached the Dar al-Ulum at 9-00 a.m. For the members of the Dar 
al-Ulum this was the first occasion of such a joyous and grand welcome. 
It is needless to point out that this joy and fervour was the outcome of 
the old yearning of the Dar al-Ulum for freedom, because in its life it was 
the first time that the ministers of the state were national. The spectacle 
of the interpretation of that dream which the Dar al-Ulum had seen long 
ago was before its eyes, and hence howevermuch fervour and joy might 
have been expressed it would not have been much. The address and 
paneayrics full of emotions of gratitude were read out in the welcome 
function. The elders of the Dar al-Ulum thanked the esteemed guest for 
his arrival. At the suggestion of Maulana Madani attention was drawn 

1. Yad-dasht of the Muhtamim Sahib. 





in the address to the construction of a road react-in^ straight from irte 
Deoband railway* station to the Dar al-Uium. In the end Hafiz Sahib de- 
livered his speech in reply from every word of which his passionate sin- 
cerity, faith and love were evident. He said : 

"From the time I have been appointed as a minister I have happened 
to go to several places and addressess have also been presented to me in 
many towns. If any of these addresses can be a cause of pride for me 
I shall say that it is the address of today that has been presented to me 
in the Dar al-Ulum; this address will be so valuable a memorial that it 
is difficult to forget if. 1 do not have the words to express my feeling as 
to how I have been honoured here, it is due to the great ulema that 
the name of Islam is extant in India and its true teachings are also extant. 
It is that body of scholars that protected the Indian AAuslims from the 
attacks of atheism and materialism, and it is due to these ulema. only that 
inspite of such a long time having passed over the establishment of the 
British government in India no change took place among the Muslims. 
If such a body of ulema accords honour to anyone then 1 understand that 
there' can be no greater good luck for a Muslim than this. Your honour- 
ing me like this is such a thing in my eyes that let alone one ministership, 
a thousand ministerships can be sacrificed on it. Notwithstanding my 
having become a minister in this province and inspite of your honouring 
me like this, I assure you that I consider myself inferior to the smallest 
student that may be there in your madrasah and consider it my great good 
fortune to be of service to it. Whatever 1 can dd for the Dar al-UIum, 
whether 1 may be in the government or not, I am always ready to do it. 

"Mention has been made in the address about a road. I think it is not 
such a service that it can be considered any service. I think it proper that 
this road must be built. Whatever service the present government can 
render within its limits, it is always ready to render. I assure you on 
behalf of the present government as regards serving the teachers and 
students of this place." 


Maulana Ubayd Allah Sindhi, who was an active member of the 
Shaikh al-Hind's revolutionary movement for the independence of India 
and was also his well-guided disciple and a right-hand man, had gone 
to Afghanistan at the Shaikh al-Hind's behest in connection with the some 
movement. When the British government came to know about the pur- 
pose of his journey, it issued an order for his exile. Staying at Kabul 
for seven years, he went to Moscow and* then from there to Turkey. In 


A.H. 1344 he reached the holy Mecca where he stayed till the end of 
A.H. 1357. In short, after his long separation of 25 years from India, 
the first Congress government of U.P. formed in 1937, withdrew the ban 
on him. As soon as the ban had been lifted, he, all of a sudden, on 
6th Safar, A.H. 1358, recched Deoband without having informed anyone. 
First of all he went to the mosque of the Dar al-Ulum and said two 
rak'ahs of prayer, Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, the present vice- 
chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum, was the first 1 to reach the mosque to meet 
him on getting the news of his arrival. When they both came face to 
face, Maulana Sindhi rushed forward ond, having put his hands on the 
feet of Qari Sahib, began to weep. No sooner did the news of his return 
spread than a thrilling wave of joy and elation ran throughout the Dar 
al-Ulum. Teochers, students and supervisors gathered in the mosque. 
An impressive function was arranged to welcome? him in which he threw 
light on the different aspects of the Shaikh al-Hind's political movements 
and narrated the experiences of his long travels. 


At the end of the year Maulana Husain Ahmed Madani went for 
pilgrimage to the House of Allah. During the season of hajj the late 

Sultan Ibn Saud met him and favoured him with a royal robe of honour. 

and aifted books, Published by the Heiaz novprnment, for the library of 
the Dar al-Ulum. This academic qift of the Sultan has been kept at a 

prominent place in the library with the label "Atiyya-e Saudiyyah". 


The relation between India and Afghanistan is of a historical nature. 
Afghan students have been prosecuting studies at the Dar al-Ulum from 
the very beginning. Accordingly, in A.H. 1283, Afghan students are seen 
shoulder to shoulder with students of the different parts of India. Due 
to this relation a sympathetic attachment for Afghanistan has always 
been expressed in the Dar al-Ulum. A congratulatory function was held 
in the Dar al-Ulum on the occasion of Nadir Shah Shaheed's coronation 
and a meeting of condolence on the eve of his martyrdom. Similarly a 
function for congratulating and wishing prosoerity was held when 
Muhammad Zahir Shah ascended the throne. On this occasion ihe 
Executive Committee decided that, to renovate and strengthen the old 
academic ond educational relations between the Dar al-Ulum and Afghan- 
istan and to convey the message of congratulations and benediction to 
the Afghan government, the vice-chancellor of the Dar nl-Ulum should go 
as its representative to'Kabul. Maulana Hamid al-Ansari Ghazi accompanied 
the Qari Sahib in this journey. Information about this journey had been 



given beforehand and this news had also been published in the news- 
papers. At intermediate slations, particularly at the Lahore railway 
sranon, a vast concourse of people including Maulana Ahmed Ali, the 
commentator ot the Quran, and Maulana Ubayd Allah iiindhi, was 
present to greet him. Taking leave of all these men, when they reached 
Peshawar, Maulana Ghulam Samadani and a host of old alumni of 
Deoband welcomed them. From there when they entered the Afghan 
border in a motor car, the royal courtesy began. They were given a 
grand welcome with utmosi respect and reverence. After reaching 
Kabul they Tirst met the minister ot foreign affairs, Sardar Ali Muham- 
mad Khan whom the vice-chancellor introduced to the Dar al-Ulum in a 
long speech in Persian. Thereafter they met the prime minister, Sardar 
Muhammad Hashim Khan, who welcomed the vice-chancellor in an extre- 
mely courteous and affectionate manner, and then said: "I wish, that you 
also call upon His Majesty the Amir of Afghanistan". After an appoint- 
ment was made, the honour of meeting His Majesty was also gained. The 
king, a la the Afghan courtesy, rose from his chair, came up to the door 
and embraced the rector. The rector, after delivering a short speech 
in Persian, read out with permission a few lines as "the present of since- 
rity" which His Majesty heard sianding. It had been indicated in these 
lines that the purpose of coming was not to ask any financial help but 
it was only to strengthen the old ties. 

However, prior 1o this meeiing, the vice-chancellor, while meeting 
the prime minister, had already presented to him a detailed memorandum 
on the academic and religious services of the Dar al-Ulum, the reasons 
for its educational greatness and fame, its efforts in connection with the 
liberty of India and its selfless services to the cause of Islam. This whole 
memorandum is given in the Rudad-e Safar-e Afghanistan ("Report on the 
Journey to Afghanistan"). Some of its excerpts are reproduced below :— 

"Today when the chain of connections of the Dar al-Ulum has spread 
from the east to the west, its alumri have fanned out throughout the 
Islamic world and, at the same time, due to a sudden 1urn of events, 
the entire Islamic world is intensely feeling about cultivating 
mutual relations, the Dar al-Uium, too, felt the need that in order to spread 
its academic current more and more and universalize Ms academic and 
educational influences more widely, it should extend its special ties with all 
the Islamic states and ponder over such means whereby it by itself be 
able to meet the academic needs of the world of Islam. 

"Since, among all the Islamic states the noble s:ate of Afghanistan 
is a neighbour of Inaia ond an Islamic state worthy to be proud of. 


and, moreover, since the prominent elders of the royal family have been 
especially connected with and directly attached to the founders and elders 
of the Dar al-Ulum — accordingly Your Majesty know it better than 
others that this auspicious family, besides its material and external 
powers and its inherent fascinating morals and nobleness, has received 
full support from the strong spiritual favours and approved and accepted 
blessings of the august men of the Dar ai-Uium, the manifestation of 
which is today as clear as the day—, hence every knowledgeable "descend- 
ant of Qasim" imagines himself to be connected with the royal family, 
and it is indeed a fact that the servants of the Jamia-e Qasimiyyah, by 
reason of this old familial relation, have been more attached than ever 
to this noble Islamic state and so the highest Executive Committee of the 
Dar ai-Ulum has authorised me that I personally present myself in Your 
Majesty's presence and acquire the felicity of exchange of views. My 
sincere view-point consists in the following four articles ;— 

(1) This old relation be maintained in a progressive form on an 
intellectual basis, selflessly and disinterestedly. 

(2) Such an occasion be provided for His Majesty as well as the intel- 
ligent officers of the lofty state that they directly acquire introduction 
with such a central and educational institution as the Dar ai-Ulum. 

(3) The intellectual relations between; the Dar al-Ulum of Afghanistan 
and the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband^ be developed for purely educational pur- 
poses in such a way whereby the authorities of the latter may directly 
estimate the latest academic needs of Afghanistan and the world of 
Islam and, in the light of this estimate, prepare such ulema in the changed 
circumstances of the period that they may co-operate fully with the aim 
and purpose of the free governments in the world of Islam and prove 
sincere workers for the state, 

(4) It is necessary in this connection that under Your Majesty's formal 
guidance and attentions 1 be given a chance to inspect the modern acade- 
mic advancements of Afghanistan, its expected needs and schools of 
thought so that the real sketch of the intellectual concepts of the Afghan 
nation may come before me and serve as a guide in the future programme 
of the Dar al-Ulum, particularly in the training of the Afghan students. 

"I have no hesitation in submitting that, on the one hand, among the 
free and independent states of the Islamic world, Afghanistan alone is 
the state which has maintained the Islamic grandeur, effect and prestige 
throughout its gamut of influence; and, on the other, the Dar al-Ulum, 


Deoband, alone is thai important institution which, in guarding the islamic 
spirit, has worked with fuli organisaiian and intrepidity. Hence ihe 
strengthening of muiual ties between these two islamic centres is as much 
necessary as if is in every way useful and consequential for the whole 
Islamic world, and the benefit of which, to all intents and purposes, will 
return towards Afghanistan itself in the form of Afghan intelligentsia 
and enlightened ulema. 

"Under this new alliance while the Dar al-Ulum, in the light of ihe 
counsel of the royal government, will offer services for the Afghan 
nation, at the same lime if such special and moral attentions are cosferred 
on the Dar al-Uium by the royal government beseeming its awn dignity, 
which may become a respectable basis for expressing and stating these 
intellectual relations and for the permanent protection of this kind of good 
relations, the Dar al-Ulum will not only accept them but will also consider 
them q source of honour and respect as well as necessary and appropriate 
for the continuance and strengthening of those relations." 

During the course of his stay the respected vice-chancellor got a 
chance on governmental basts to exchange views with several esteemed 
academic and literary societies of Kabul. In ihe words of the learned editor 
of the newspaper "Anees" (Kabul), the ulema and the young educated 
classes were equally impressed by the respected vice-chancellor's thoughts 
and views. The ministry of education expressed the desire that he inspect 
the Kabul University and its colleges. He wrote and presented a detailed 
review on the educational set-up of the university in which, acknowledge- 
ing the factual educational good qualities of the university, he had also 
offered some suggestions and opinions. The main point of discussion In 
this review was that the teaching of foreign languages and modern 
sciences should not be given in such a parallel manner that there might 
be clash and friction with the religious sciences, creating thereby in the 
nation classes of divergent tastes and, consequently, national disunity. 
On the contrary the religious and secular education should be given com- 
binedly so that the disunity already produced might be brought to an end. 

The most important thing among the outcomes of this journey is the 
establishment and consolidation of educational relations between the 
Islamic centres. If this is utilised judiciously, then in connection with 
educational progress important useful results can be obtained in future 
for the Islamic world. At the time of ihe vice-chancellor's returning from 
Kabul, the prime-minister, in his fareweil-meeting, announced on behalf 
of his government a gift of fifty thousand Afghcn rupees for the Dar al- 
Ulum. The actual words of the prime-minister were: "You, thank Allah, 
are independent and the Dar al-Ulum depends upon trust in Allah besides 


Whom it needs no one; but, anyhow, it was a duty of the government 
that it recognise its own duties at least in the matter of the Dar al-Ulum. 
Whatever aia his Majesty nas sancnoned tor ine Dar al-Ulum is not 
commensurate witn the dignity of the uar ai-uium out you aie 
aware or ine importance ut me ifespunsitinines Argnan<sran iias riaa in 
tne present arcumsrances or trie wonu .- 

On the realisation of ihe royal gift an impressive function was held 
in the Dar al-Utum in which Ihe vice-chancellor reviewed in very eloquent 
terms the hospitality of the Atghan government, audience in the royal 
court, cordial meetings with the prime-minister and other ministers ot 
state, the condition at academic centres, educational and industrial estab- 
lishments, liierary societies, Jami'at al-Ulama, Kabul University and differ- 
ent colleges of sciences and languages, and the national and religious 
feelings of the Afghan notion. 

Various institutions, societies, madrasahs and respetiable personali- 
ties of India took enthusiastic part in thanking the King of Afghanistan 
for this patronage of learning. The newspapers, by and large, published 
this news prominently in their columns and great joy and elation was 
expressed in the whole country over >his renewal and strengthening of 
this sincere relation. 


It has been stated in the foregone lhat like the course of Hadith the 
course of Tafsir had also been started in A.H. 1350, but at that time there 
was no separatei class-room for it. In A.H. 1353 a square hall of 30 by 

30 was built upon the upper storey of the Dar al-Hadith and was named 
Dar al-Tafsir. Above this hall has been constructed a stately dome which, 
by reason of its loftiness and grandeur, looks as if a majestic crown has 

been put on the head of ihe Dar al-Ulum. This building of the Dar ai- 

Hadith-cum-Dar al-Tafsir is, on the whole, so magnificent that the onlooker 

"annot but be struck wilh astonishment. 


Since the special road linking the Dar al-Ulum with '.he railway 
station had already been built and the dome on the Dar al-Tafsir had 
also been completed, the Majlis-e Shura, as regards the use of the Afghan 
donation, decided that as the construction of the main gate of the stu- 
dents' hostel, opposite the Rar al-Hadith, had become necessary, it 

For details, vide Safar-nama-e Afghanistan by Qari M. Tayyib. 


should be spent on cons.ructing the main gate which should be named 
Bab al-Zahir after the name of >he King of Afghanistan so as to establish 
a lasting memorial to the sincere relations between Afghanistan and the 
Dar al-Ulum. Nawab Sadaryar Jung Maulana Habib al-Rahman Khan 
Shirwani was selected for laying down the foundation-stone of the pro- 
posed gate. To invite him for this ceremony the vice-chancellor himself, at 
the suggestion of Maulana Madani, went to Habibganj (Dist, Aligarh). 
Maulana Shirwani, as per his promise, reached Deoband on the scheduled 
date and laid the foundation-stone with his auspicious hands amidst a 
very large gathering of teachers, students and common Muslims. 

The Bab al-Zahir in the Dar al-Ulurn is a grand and magnificent 
3-storeyed building, consisting of several rooms and lecture-rooms in 
which the teachers of the department of calligraphy train the students in 
the art of writing a good hand. 


The respectable vice-chancellor, at the wish and invitation of the 
ruler of the Qalat state, went to Qalot. The purpose of the Khan of 
Qalat was that, for ihe education and training of the adolescent students 
of the slate, a new curriculum be structured in which modern sciences and 
social necessities too be given due weight along with the religious scien- 
ces; moreover, ways and means to remove ihe wide gulf of hatred pro- 
duced between the two educated groups in the community due 1o the 
distance created by the discordance? of religious and profane education be 
adopted, and such a comprehensive syllabus be devised whereby, com- 
bining both ihe systems of education as far as possible, that gulf of 
"educational dualism" be removed, so that, by ihe gathering of both the 
old and modern educational tendencies at one point of union, an effort 
be made to create the unity of knowledge and thought in the community. 

To prepare such an educational scheme the honourable vice-chan- 
cellor had taken Maulana Shams al-Haq Afghani from the Dar al-Ulum 
along with him. After reaching Qalat a very comprehensive and useful 
syllabus was compiled in consultation with the old and modern educa- 
tional experts and was presented to the state. In accordance with the 
desire of the Khan of Qalat, Maulana Shams al-Haq Afghani, Maulana 
Hamid al-Ansari Ghazi and some other experts from the Dar al-Ulum 
were sent to Qalat to put this syllabus into practice. But this caused a 
loss to the Dar al-Ulum in the sense that the former was entrusted with 
the portfolio of minister of education and the latter •was made director 
of publicity and both of them had to remain in Qalat. However, while 


this scheme was slill in the early siages of implementation. World War II 
broke out and the British government, tor expediencies of defence, 100k 
over the staie administroiian unuer its own control. It is a pity that, 
through this extremely useful scheme, the means suggested tor creating 
oneness and unity through ihe blending anu fusion of old and new 
tendencies couicf not come into force. 


The Dor al-Uium, Deoband, and the Muslim University, Aligarh, are 
the biggest educational institutions of the Muslims in India that came 
into being one after another after the revolution of 1857. While the Dar 
al-Uium took care of and supported the Muslims' religion through the 
imparling of religious sciences, the Muslim University, Aligarh, haved the 
Muslims from temporal ruination by means of providing facilities for 
education in the contemporary and economic sciences. Inspite of the 
fact that both had been founded for the Muslims and have kept func- 
tioning for them only, there was no link infer se. During the KhilaFat 
Movement when the Shaikh al-Hind went to the M.U.A. for laying the 
foundation of the Jamia-e Mi Ilia, he had delivered that momentous 
presidential address which is considered the address of the foundation of 
the said Jamia, but later on the same period of unconcern! had returned. 

On behalf of the society of the university, "islami Tarikh wa Tama- 
ddun" ("Islamic History & Civilization"), Mr. Mahamid al-Ansari invited the 
great ones of the Dar al-Ulum on the occasion of "the Islamic Week" 
during the previous years. This series started with the vice-chancellor. 
Qari Sahib delivered a momentous scholarly and philosophical lecture 
on "islam & Science", which, according to Dr. Amir Hasan, chairman of 
the said society, became very popular in the circle of the teachers and 
students of the Muslim University. 1 

In this pithy lecture, Qari Sahib has satisfactorily, commented in a scholarly 
style, on Science and the reality of Islam, relation between Science and Islam 
and the exigencies of the latter. After defining the theme of Science and the 
limits of discussion, he has made an analytical review of the Four Elements, 
their contradictory properties, the difference, between their various peculiari- 
ties and effects and their causes.' Along with defining the origin of energy 
and the- criterion of difference, he, in the light of an authentic "athar" (prophe- 
tic tradition of a particular kind), has discussed in an interesting manner human 
energy and capacity and its sway and domination over material powers. After 
making it clear that the spring of human powers is the soul,- he has argued in 
a very subtle manner about spiritualism, theology, the Being of Allah and His 
Attributes. At the same time he has shown in a philosophical style as to what 
the criterion of the consummation of human powers is. What are the principles 


Another lecture during the current year was delivered on "The In- 
gredients of Islamic Culture and Civilization", It was also very much 
appreciated. The former lecture has been published in book form by the 
said society. 

Asa result of these lectures the academic underestimation and mistrust 
prevailing in the university regarding the ulema was removed. From that 
time onwards the relations between the Dar al-Ulum and the M.U.A. have 
been on the increase from day to day and the distance that existed 
intei - se these two great academic institutions has now, thank Allah, been 
much reduced. 


A.H. 1360 (A.D. 1941) is that period in which the world was 
embroiled in a dreadful and devastating war. The general economic 
conditions in the country were becoming very precarious and complex, 
but Allah's Favour and Bounty were busy in pushing the Dar al-UIum 
forward. In the holy month of Ramazan, as stated in the foregone, the 
vice-chancellor went to Madras, A few months prior to this journey a 
delegation of the merchants of Madras, headed by Haji Isma'ii Mareet, 
had reached Deoband and had already inspected the Dar al-Ulum 
thoroughly. Impressed by its administrative efficiency, the sincerity of the 
teachers and functionaries, the students' engrossment in studies, and ihe 
needs and pure religious atmosphere of the Dar al-Ulum, this delegation 
was inclined to extend help to it. A powerful motivation for this journey 
in fact came from this inspection of these gentlemen and the vice-chancel- 
lor, accompanied by his deputy, Maulana Mubarak AM, went to Madras. 
Besides the widening of the circle of influence of the innumerable believers 
and well-wishers of the Dor a!-Ulum, the people of Madras presented a 
purse of Rs. 47,000/-, including an amount of Rs. 20,000/- from Haji 
Isma'ii alone, for completing the construction of the hostel-rooms. 

The vice-chancellor returned from Madras via Calcutta, where also he 
stayed for some days. This journey, too, thank Allah, proved very remu 
nerative, bringing in a sum of Rs. 24,C'0'D/-, which included Rs. 20,000/ 
donated by Haji Muhammad Dean, hide merchant of Calcutta, a'one. 

of the merits of self and the manifestations of spiritual' morals and attributes? 
What are the contradistinctions between spiritual and materials morals ? 
What is the relation between Islam and material wisdom ? What are the harms 
of pure materialism ? To which reality does Islam invite and how is man 
removed from spiritual and divine realities by making sheer materialism 
his only ideal ? How the manner of expression punctuated with apt illustrations, 
has made these abstruse discussions commonplace and interesting has to be 
seen to be believed. (S.M. Rizvi). 


May Aiiah /wost High reward all these gentlemen and bestow upon ,hose 
of ihem who have gone to glory hign ranks in the highest Paraaise ! by 
their attention and favour the hostel which was lying incomplete tor yea.s. 
and was causing much inconvenience to the stuaenis aue to lac* of accom- 
modation was ar last completed. Uue to me compiesion or 1he hostel The 
compound of the Dar al-uium whicn was alosoiuiely unsafe till lhen 
became safe. May Aiiah reward them all here and in the Hereartet! 


The monthly entitled "Al-Qasim" that had been started 32 years ago 
(A.H. 1328) under the auspices and supervision of the Dar al-Ulum for 
the correction and cultivation of the religious beliefs and practices of the 
Muslim masses went on rendering useful services to Isiam and the Muslims 
very successfully. The memory of the research and high class academic 
articles from the pen of the ulema of Deoband which the A!-Qasim pub- 
lished and the untypically clear and simple style <n which an excellent 
stock of authentic religious information it offered to the Muslims, 
is still fresh in the minds of the educated. After being current for a 
long period of eleven years the publication of Al-Qasim, had been slopped. 
Thereafter, till now, circumstances were continuously such that no |Ournal 
could be published by the Dar al-Uium, although, during a period of 20 
years the sincere onss and those having an attachment to the Dar al-Ulum 
had been ceaselessly insisting upon the issue of a monthly journal. More- 
over, the elders of the Dar al-Ulum themselves were feeling this important 
need but were not in a position to take practical steps in this regard. 
At last, in Jamadi al-Awwal, A.H. 1360, a monthly journal entitled "Dar al- 
Ulum" was started with the following objectives:— 

( 1 ) To keep the helpers and adherents in touch with the circum- 
stances and chronicles of the Dar al-Ulum. 

( 2 ) To create the correct religious mentality among the Muslims by 
presenting the teachings of Islam in an easy and impressive manner. 

( 3 ) To present and publish research articles of the ulema of Deoband 
on academic problems and the stand of the Dar al-Ulum on the contem- 
porary events. 

( 4 ) To defend soberly against the attacks of the adversaries of Islam. 

On the night between 9th and lOlh Jamadi al-ukhra, A.H. 1361, 


Maulana Sayyid Husain Ahmed Madani, dean, Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, 
started from Deobcnd to preside over the Hindu-Muslim Unity Conference 
at Jhang (West Punjab). Near Saharanpur, at the Patri railway s'ation, 
a police inspector presenteH to him the warrant of arrest, got him down 
from the train at Saharanpur station and sent him to Saharanpur jail. 
Next day he was taken to 'he joil ot Moradabad. The ccuse of this arrest 
was a political speech which Maulana Madani had delivered in the con- 
ference of the Jami'at al-Ulama, Dis\ Moradabad, Bachhraon. (here a 
joke is worth hearing. This function had been presided over by Maulana 
Muhammad Tayyib. When he went to the Moradabad jail tc see Maul- 
ana Madani, the latter said to the jailer; "This president of that objection- 
able function is strutting along fearlessly and you have thrown this old 
man behind the bars"! Maulana Tayyib rejoined: "Sir, Just now I am also 
with you in the jail" ). 

The news of Maulana Madani's arrest reached the Dar al-Ulum on the 
morning of the 10th instant. No sooner did they hear this news than a 
wave of intense excitement, anxiety, grief and indignation swept all over 
the teachers, students, authorities and functionaries. As a token of pro- 
test all the markets in the town were closed. A meeting of protest was 
held under the chairmanship of the respectable vice-chancellor in which 
he said: "If the government wants to challenge the Dar ol-Ulum and the 
arouo of the Dar al-Ulum by arrestinq Maulana Madani, I am ready to 
accept this challenge on behalf of the' whole group". 

It will certainly be unjust not to acknowledge here the patience and 
aplomb of the students' community on this occasion. During the term of 
Maulana Madani's captivity, protest-processions were taken out several 
times, end demonstrations and functions were held but inspite of the 
fact that excitement among the young students' community was very 
intense and feelings against the government were running very high. 
on every occasion, along with solemn zeal and peaceful demonstration, 
scholarly dignity used tc be always in the fore. Though on such provoca- 
tive occasions this peculiarity usually da^s not remain intact, the students 
of the Dar al-Ulum proved by their behaviour and discipline that not- 
withstandina their youth and callowness how cautious and self-possessed 
they could be in the expression of their feelings that even on a severe 
occasion they would not let the skirt of scholarly diqnity and solemnity 
slip off their fingers. 

On 10th Rajab, A.H. 1361, the judgement in Maulana Madani's case 
was read out in the Moradabad jail. The court had sentenced him to 
imprisonment for 18 months and to pay a fine of rupees five hundred. 


and in default of which a further term of six months in the jail, and had 
decided to assign him A Class. 


The event of Maulana Madani's arrest had taken place in June, 
1942. Shortly afterwards, in August, 1942, with the arrest of the Con- 
gress High Command, the Indian National Congress was declared illegal 
throughout the country, which produced anxiety and resilessness every- 
where in India. The leaders had been arrested and the rank and file, 
almost everywhere, had resorted to violence. Government institutions and 
the railway lines were generally the main target of their attacks and 
sabotage. This was the month of Sha'bon in which the annual exami- 
nations are usually held in the Dar ai-Ulum, after which starts the 
vacation. Due to the anxiety-filled conditions prevailing in the country 
there was apprehension that tho students might be deprived of the 
opportunity of reaching their homes in the vacation and hence the pro- 
posal for postponing the examination was under serious consideration 
in the vice-chancellor's office. Meanwhile the students themselves unani- 
mously made a plea that in view of the existing confusion in the country 
if they stayed to take the examination it was feared that they would 
not be ab;e to reach their native-places for the railway lines being in 
jeopardy could create severe problems of transport. Secondly, they also' 
wanted to respond to the call and need of the lime and take part in 
it, and hence they were seeking permission to go home as soon as possible. 
Accordingly, in view of the tumultuous conditions of the time, the students' 
request was granted wilh the decision that it would be incumbent upon 
fhem to take the examinations by 25th Zil-hiija, and the examinations 
were postponed and a general vacation was declared in the Dar al-Ulum. 


The Chinese Islamic National Saivaiicn Federa.ion had sent one 
Osman Woo as its representative to India to study the conditions of the 
Muslim institutions. In connection with this tour he came to the Dar 
al-Ulum on 25th Sha'ban, studied ils administration, method' of education, 
etc. very minutely. He was, on the' whole, very much pleased to see the 
Dar al-Ukm and expressed his view in the following words:— 

"This is an honour for me that I got an opportunity to see the Dar 
al-Ulum, Maulana Muhammad Tayyib Sahib took me round the Dar al- 
Ulum for which I am grateful to him. This institution is a purely religious 


institution which can be called tne "Al-Aihar" of the east. It is the 

duly of every Muslim in and outside India to look after this eastern Al- 

Azhar and 10 strive to help it so that Islamic Culture may continue in the 
east in □ better condition". 


Compared to the strength of students in the past years, their number 
in A,H. 1362 was very small. The effects cf the movement of August, 
1942 1 were found, more or less, everywhere m the country. Travelling 
had become risky due to the railway lines exposed to hazard. Severe 
disorder had spread particularly in Bihar and Bengal. Dearness had 
exceeded limits, political unrest and insurrection was common. Bengal 
was breathing its last due to a severe famine and starvation and hence 
it had become difficult for the students of Bengal and other far off places 
to even step out of their homes. As such, the students from Bengal who 
were usually always numerous in the Dar nl-Ulum, wefe very few in 
number this year. 

On the one hand this tumult was ragingly rampont in the country 
and on the other, due to dissimilitude of their political cults, a serious 
confusion of misunderstanding end apposition cropped up among the 
managing authorities of the' Dar al-USum, which at last ended in the 
resignation and separation of the chancellor and five teachers. Details 
of this conflict will follow shortly. With the resigning party sixty students 
also left the Dar a!-U!um. Bot; thenk Allah, due to the immediate filling 
up of the vacancies of the teachers no unusual or ccn-oicuaus difference 
arose in the management of the affairs. 


In A.H. 1354, when Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani 'was appointed 
chancellor, the powers of the vice-chancellor too, in connection with the 
safeguarding of the tack of the Dar al-Ulum, had been transferred to 
the chancellor, but in practice the administration 'of trje Dar al-Ulum was 
in the hands of the vice-chancellor only. Since ihe chancellor Maulana 
Shabbir Ahmed Usmanr used to stay very little in Deaband— the major 
part of the year he spent at Dcbhe! ( Dist. Surat \ where he had been 
appointed dean — every kind of resoonsibility rind accountability devolved 
only on the vice-chancellor. And the experience of the 'ong past had 
proved that since it was the vice-chancellor who was practically running 

1. "Quit India Movement" launched by Ghandiii. (Translator). 




the institution single-handed, the powers should vest in him alone. These 
questions had become the subject of controversy because, being account- 
able to the Majlis-e Shura and the Executive Committee for accomplishing 
the affairs of the different departments and offices, he was facing prac- 
tical difficulties in the discharge of his functions. Constitutionally, totally 
all ihe functional and administrative responsibilities appertained to the 
vice-chancellor. Hence, in A.H. 1361, ihe Majlis, in view of the natural 
exigencies of the contemporary conditions, transferred all the powers !o 
the vice-chancellor. According to this proposal the position of the chan- 
cellor came to be that of a constitutional supervisor and his connection 
with the administrative affairs came to an end. At that lime, in view 
of the general circumstances of the country, a large number of students, 
teachers and functionaries of the Dar al-Ulum used to consider it neces- 
sary and an important demand of the time to join politics and make 
practical efforts, while Allamah Usmani, due to the educational nature of 
the Dar al-Ulum and certain other reasons used to consider the practical 
efforts of its adherents harmful. His opinion was that as a group the 
Dar al-Ulum should keep off practical politics, This contest at last 
developed into a chasm cf non-co-operation between the two parties. 

On such occasions the procedure usually current in constitutional 
institutions is that when the highest authority meets difficulties and failure 
in enforcing any policy, he tenders his resignation and steps aside so 
that due to non-co-operation the harmful effects of dyarchy may not 
come to the fore. So, Allamah Usmani, on this occasion, gave proof of 
the same prudent foresight: he resigned and drew aside. Along with 
him, Maulana Muhammad Ibrahim, Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shaf'ee, 
Maulana Zahoor Ahmed and two other teachers from the magistral staff 
and nearly sixty students cherishing the same views resigned and left 
the Dar al-Ulum. However, after some time, through the vice-chancellor's 
effort, Maulana Muhammad Ibrahim and Maulana Zahoor Ahmed came 
back to the Dar nl-Ulum. 


The year 1363/1942 was a very tumultuous year in the politics of 
India; all the great and small leaders had been thrown into imprison- 
ment. It has already been stated above that Maulana Madani had been 
arrested during the first ten days of Jamadi al-ukhra, A.H. 1361, while 
travelling between Deoband and Saharanpur. Now, in the holy month 
of Ramazan, A.H. 1363, he was released from jail unconditionally. He 
came to Deoband on 14th Ramazan al-Mubarak. Thousands of his devo- 
tees had gathered at the railway-station. The concourse was so large 



that such a scene had not been witnessed for a long time. After the 
Taravih prayer a grand welcome-function was held in the Jama Masjid. 
After the congratulatory panegyrics — an important one amongst which 
the vice-chancellor himself had composed in Persian and read out — , 
Maulana Madani, narrating the tyrannies of the English, said: "The inde- 
pendence of India and the Islamic countries alone can satisfy our hearts; 
as long as it is no* achieved, our duty will remain and the struggle for 
independence will continue". 


The relation that writing has with reading needs no explanation. 
Writing and calligraphy aie deeply connected with knowledge and it is 
hence that writing has been interpreted as "half of the knowledge". 
Good handwriting had not been given i1s due place tn the Arabic mad- 
rasahs till now. In the Dar al-Ulum, however, this much regard was 
surely paid to the goodness of handwriting that the students who wrote 
a good hand were given distinctive marks; nevertheless there was no 
particular arrangement for the improvement and correctness of hand- 
writing which depended merely on the students' individual taste. By and 
large the students' handwriting used to be very clumsy. So this year, to 
remove this crudeness, a department for good handwriting was opened 
and the correctness of script and beauty of hand were made necessary 
for the students. 

Both the Naskh and Nasta'liq scripts are practised in this department. 
Besides writing a beautiful hand, the students who wish to acquire 
training in calligraphy as an art are exercised technically. Thus besides 
improving hand, this department is also a good and respectable means 
of earning livelihood for the students of the Dar al-Ulum. 


It is evident that except teaching, preaching and religious leadership, 
other means of earning living in the present times are not open to the 
graduates of the Dar al-Ulum. Being seized of the matter, it was con- 
sidered necessary that means of livelihood for the future should be; pro- 
vided for the students so that, after leaving the Dar al-Ulum, they may 
live independently with peace of mind and composure. In opening 
the department of calligraphy also, this was oris of the objectives in view, 
Mpy Allah Most High bestow good recompense uport Maulana Abd at- 
Ghafoor Bukhari, who was then the Imam of the mosque of the Dar al- 



Ulum and later on emigrated to Madina and died there, that the above- 
named department came into being through his sincere help and effort, 
beginning first with the department of book-binding. He was a native 
of Bukhara and owned a workshop of book-binding on a pretty good 
scale at Bombay. He was himself well-skiiled in this work. During his 
stay in Bombay he cultivated an eagerness for acquiring religious sciences 
and selected the Dar al-Ulum for the achievement of his object. He 
endowed the machine for book-binding, tools and other requisite accesso- 
ries of this work that he owned to the Dar a!-Ulum. As such, with this 
equipment endowed by him, the House of Crafts was inaugurated in 
Rajah, A.H. 1365, beginning with the department of book-binding His 
good self did not rest content with this (endowment) only but, offering his 
own services gratis to the House of Crafts, he trained and prepared such 
men who could teach book-binding to the students. 

Thereafter, other crafts too have continued to be added to this House 
of Crafts (Dar al-Sana'ey). 



The sun had as yet not risen on the firmament of independence in 
India when the fire of riots shot up in Bihar and Gadh-Mukteshar (Dist. 
Meerut). The majority community had raised Cain for the minority. 
Those who had escaped ihese riots were so panicky that they were 
not prepared to return to their homes, There is no doubt about it that 
Gandhiji's services in this connection can never be effaced from the pages 
of history. His tour in the riot-torn areas of Bihar worked as an antidote. 
Nevertheless it was necessary that the Muslims themselves, appeasing and 
encouraging such victimised Muslims and preaching and inculcating pati- 
ence and perseverance to them should make endeavours morally to close 
such gaps for the future. So delegations were sent out from the Dar al- 
Ulum with this purpose and the results proved to be quite satisfactory. 
Many Muslims who had determined to leave their native places stayed on 
and those who had already quitted returned when the conditions became 

Almost the same situation was encountered . in Gadh-Mukteshar. 
Reaching there, the delegation of the Dar al-Ulum, with the help of the 
government, worked assiduously, ardently and diligently in cleansing the 
mosques and houses, re-arranging and repairing, burying the martyrs and 
res-toring peoce and security; and dispelling the Muslims' fear and des- 
pair, prepared them to re-settle in their homes. 



The salaries of the magistral and clerical staffs of the Dar al-Ulum 
have always been less in proportion to their services, the inevitable con- 
sequence of which is that these salaries can hardly suffice for iheir and 
their families' creature comforts. There is, therefore, no possibility of 
laying aside anything for a rainy day. But human needs are not subject 
to selflessness and sacrifice. Hence whenever any fortuity befell them, 
they had to suffer great hardships and distress. Similarly, those retired 
due to old age or any other reasons, did not have even an ordinary fi- 
nancial suppor; to fall back upon. This writer has seen with his own 
eyes several such woeful incidents that when one died in harness due to 
old age, his heirs would not have even so much as to be able to arrange 
for his obsequies; or if an employee had the misfortune of being involved 
in a chronic disease, he could not get reasonable medical treatment for 
want of funds. Due to consecutive experiences and the plea of the em- 
ployees themselves and in view of the unavoidable human conditions and 
necessities, the system of provident fund was started in the Dar al-U!um 
to provide easy monetary help in times of urgent need or at the time of 
superannuation. This time the Majlis-e Shura gave proof of its sympathe- 
tic attention to the employees' appeal.' 

Now six naya paise per rupee is deducied from the salary of each 
permanent employee as his own contribution to the P.F. and an equal 
amount is contributed by the Dar al-Ulum, and this accumulated amount of 
P.F. is handed over to him at the "time of his retirement; moreover, there 
is also provision of giving two-third of the P.F. as loan in times of need 
which is deducted at the rate of 5% from the salary every month. 


The reality cannot be denied that in the struggle for the indepen- 
dence of India no other group can be called a rival to the proud posi- 
tion held by the ulema. After the tumultuous revolution of 1857 this 
was the only party which kept the concept of independence alive in the 
country. Their continuous effort and struggle at last infused the spirit 
of liberty in the whole nation. Hazrat Nanautavi was the greatest pro- 
pagator of this concept and the outstanding preacher of this movement. 
It is indeed a pity that the writers of the history of this war of indepen- 
dence have not done justice to him for the enthusiasm with which he nur- 
tured this concept. 

On this occasion of Indie's winning freedom the extent of joy which 


the group oriented and prepared for this goal by Hazrat Nanautavi must 
have experienced can be estimated from the speech which the respected 
vice-chancellor had delivered on the night of 15th August, on the eve of 
the festival of freedom, before a large gathering of the students and the 
townspeople. As some light is thrown in this speech on the history of the 
ulema's role, it will be apt to reproduce this speech verbatim. He said i— 

"Elders of the nation, respectable ulema and dear students of the Dar 
al-Ulum! The auspicious day of today will be always memorable in the 

history of India. A glorious and mighty empire regarding which it was 
admitted on all hands that the sun never set on it any time and about 
which on overweening and supercilious representative of this empire, 
namely, Gladstone himself had boasted vaingloriously in the parliament 
that his/ empire then was so powerful that even if the sky wished to fall 
down upon it they would stop it on the points of their bayonets and it 
would not be able to cause any harm to the empire. The same empire, 
not due to the falling of the sky but merely due to the stirring up of a 
few particles from the earth is winding up so easily that history cannot 
offer a single example thereof I On this great revolution we offer con- 
gratulations to the whole country; to the whole country in general and 
to the old and the young in particular whose efforts and sacrifices have 

brought forth this sweet fruit for India. 

"It would be ungrateful on our part if on this occasion we do not 
recollect the efforts of those elders of the community who in fact laid the 
foundation-stone of this independence, and laid it at a time when the 
heart and mind of this country was simply devoid of the concept of liberty. 
It was the crusading party of Hazrat Shah Wall Allah's intrepid disciples 
which was marching in the path of this struggle for the past two hundred 
years not only with pen and ink but also with sword and blood. After 
1857 when the English power completely dominated over the whole coun- 
try, this was the lone party which kept the concept of liberty alive and 
at last made everyone in the country infatuated with it. According to 
Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi, in 1857 ihe greatest repository of this 
concept and the greatest trustee of this fervour was Maulana Muhammad 
Qasim. He took up sword under the leadership of his Shaikh (spiritual 
preceptor), Haji Imdad Allah and stepped in the path of liberty with the 
intention of laying down his life, but because of the difficulties of the path 
the chain of victory stopped at the Shamli Tehsil and could not reach 
Delhi and the country was deprived of independence. However, this 
party did not become unmindful of this idea. When Hazrat Maulana Muha- 
mmad Qasim left this world, his proper and true successor, Shaikh ol-Hind 


Moulana Mahmud Hasan, the legitimate heir to his knowledge and views, 
continued the movement for freedom with his whole party. 

According to a statement of Jamal Pasha, the Turkish governor of 
Madina, what miracle was hidden in the handful of Shaikh al-Hind's 
bones and his short jubbah that it took the whole Islamic world into its 
fold ! Anyhow, the passion of these august men against the English para- 
mountcy was neither for rank and position nor for the ministerial chairs 
nor for the power of any single party, but it was only for this that the 
oppressed country be taken out from the grasp of an oppressive nation 
and be entrusted, by way of rendering the due to ths rightful person, 
to one whose trust it was , so that the word of truth be elevated. 

"The greatest leisure-time activity of these august men was always 
the same talk and anxiety as to how the yoke of the English should be 
thrown away from the shoulders; regarding this alone were their fore- 
casts and spiritual revelations and about the same was their common 
orderliness and arrangement. One day all these elders were present in 
the Chhaita Mosque. In view of the English people's domination and 
uncommon might, Haji Sayyid Muhammad Abid said : 'The English have 
set their claws very deep (i.e., have stabilised their position very Firmly). 
Let us see how ,will ihey be disrooted'? At this Maulana Muhammad 
Yaqub who was the first Shaikh al-Hadith of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, 
observed : Haji Sahib I Whot are you thinking ? That time is not far 
off when India will be turned like a row-mat. There will be no war; on 
the contrary, in a state of peace and tranquillity, this country will be turned 
like a row-mat. At night we will sleep under their rule and will rise up 
in the morning in another reign'. 

"I do not run down the daring and the valiant people of today but 
I also cannot back down from the conviction and claim under any cireum- 
slances that all the efforts of independence today are a building the foun- 
dation of which had been laid down by these august men and therefore 
( can say loudly that this struggle for the independence of India had been 
initiated by Muslims only and they alone nurtured it. Shah Abd al-Aziz 
issued a fetwa against the English and declared India to be a Dar ak 
Harab (Territory of War). Haji Imdad Allah and Maulana Muhammad 
Qasim Nanautavi used this fetwa; they drank ihis recipe of cure in a 
particular manner and made others also drink it. The Shaikh al-Hind pre- 
served the sam^ recipe in the form of a compound electuary and mads it 
usable for everyone. Accordingly its use became common. In the Khi- 
lafat Movement also though the recipe was bitter, it was used by all, and, 
at all events, when it began '.o be used commonly, the passion for 


freedom passed over from tha Muslims to the other compatriots and ihey 
also became active, and through the indera.igable joint efforts of the 
Hindus and the Muslims and meir saciifkes their sweet fruit is before us 
in the form of the independence of the country at which we extend con- 
gratulations to each other and pray for these august men who sowed the 
seed and the tree became so stalwart that all of us are eating its fruit 

"The independence of India is the independence of the entire Islamic 
v/orld and hence gamut of our congratulations is also much wider. 
Both the states of India and Pakistan deserve our congratulations : 
we congratulate Pakistan as Muslims and India as our native land. I also 
cannot refrain from expressing this thought that now the Muslims have 
remained as an ordinary minority in India and in today's independence 
while they have an occasion to be extremely glad that the 200-year old 
paramountcy of the English has come to an end for which they were so 
restless, there is also an occasion tc be anxious as to what would 1 be the 
form of their collective life in this country? For this they should take 
steps from now. In the light of the holy Shari'ah there is only one way 
that they select from amongst themselves an imam (leader) and a reli- 
gious chief (amir) for establishing their religi-legal organisation; that 
instead of remaining scattered the Muslim groups and sects in India unite 
and become one, one at the Kalima of Islam, and decide to pass their 
religio-legal life under one chief. In this one sentence alone is hidden the 
prolix interpretation of their collective life. The thing of foremost priority 
for them is to forget the past events; let us give up the system of recri- 
mination and sarcasm and stop thinking of laying the blame at the door 
of each other. On the contrary, keeping the future alone in view, let 
us ponder over it that to be uniled what can be the plans for fraternity 
and equality that we can put into practice today? In my opinion the chan- 
ces of our being united are brighter now than ever. The parties on 
whom rest the bases of dispuies have been turned up side down by this 
revolution; the fact is that they 'oo have changed with the changing of 
India. Hence, now, instead of sowing the seeds of dissension by found- 
ing new parties, it is apposite, rather necessary, that we lay the founda- 
tion-s-Jone of a single party ond solve all those problems that have cropped 
up in the new India". 1 

On this eve the following declaration was made on behalf of the Dar 
al-Ulum :— 

1. "Dar al-Ulum" journal, Zi-qada, A.H. (October, 1947), 


"The Dor al-Ulum, Deoband, is a religious institution of the Muslims 
and a glorious academy, which has always protected its education and 
educational activities in the midst of the tumults of national politics and 
it has never let disharmony arise in its educational affairs by any fortui- 
tous movement; nevertheless it never practised alienation from its nation 
and national movements to the extent of opposing the British domination 
and paramountcy; it rather took suitable part in a responsible manner m 
all ihe national matters. 

"The evenl of the independence of India as our native land and the 
first step of its emancipation from ihe supremacy and dominance of British 
imperialism is not such a thing that the Dar al-Ulum can remain aloof 
from it. The Dar al-Ulum is not only elated over the freedom of the native- 
land but is also taking it as a good augury for the real liberiy in future 
and is anticipating it as a prelude to many future joys. 

"It hos decided to express its jubilance on the eve of this incipenl 
freedom of India and in the full expectation of its utmost liberty, that 15th 
August should be celebrated as a general holiday. As such, the Dar al- 
Ulum, through this holiday, shares the general exultation of the country. 

"India is receiving the first instalment of freedom after a slavery of 
two hundred years. We congratulate ail those friends who have given 
sacrifices for the independence of the country, for Allah Most High, having 
accepted all their efforts, bestowed the wealth of freedom on all of us. 
We hope that ihese intrepid crusaders of the country will continue their 
efforts as long as India does not win complete freedom and they may not 
have attained the chance of elevating freely all their national and reli- 
gious customs". 1 


After riots in the vicinity of Dehradun the mischief of the Muslims' 
renegalion had been intensified. To prevent this mischief a preacher was 
sent from the Dar al-Ulum. He made Dehradun his base and toured the 
villages. The Muslims of that area received strength from the timely 
arrival of the preacher. He gave a good proof of his assiduousness in 
re-settling the Muslims. By his effort and persuasion many apostates returned 
to the fold of Islam. The village Muslims, being infused with courage, per- 
severance and self-reliance, regained ihe gusto for facing riots and the 
people who, due to fear and despair, had deserled iheir native places 
returned to their homes. 

1. "Dar al-Ulum", Deoband, journal, dated Shawwal, A.H. 1366 (Sept. 1947). 



The remotemess between DeobanJ and Aligarh which had been 
continunig for a long time had lessened considerably due to the lectures 
Maulana Muhammad Tayyib had delivered in the university in A. H. 1359, 
As a result thereof, ihe authorities of the Muslim University thought of 
co-opting the ulema of Deoband for ihe Muslim University Court, and 
Maulana Hifz al-Rahman, Maulana Mahfuz al-Rahman and Maulana 
Qari Muhammad Tayyib were nominated as members of the Court, and 
thus ways of co-operation between these two great and outstanding aca- 
demic institutions were opened. 


>,'■ ' i; 

-j > j 

The year before an insulting event had occurred with the Dar al- 
Ulum due to the interference of the district authorities on the occasion of 

id al-Adha. This year again, a few days before Id al-Adha, on 5th Zil- 
hijja to be exact, the regrettable incident of search of the Dar al-Ulum 

took place. A local police officer, accompanied with a posse of 30 to 35 
armed constables arrived at the ga:e of the Dar al-Ulum and without 
seeking permission of any member of the management or making use of 

those moral exigencies which are considered necessary on such occasions, 

he entered the vice-chancellor's office, made a search and confiscated those 
printed commandments and propositions (masa'il) of Id al-Adha contain- 
ing the instructions regarding sacrifice. 

The instructions concerning sacrifice along with an appeal for dona- 
tions were being published for years and ere this none had objected to 
this practice. This year, however, that portion of the contents of the 
poster which contained a mention of the word 'cow' among the details of 
sacrificial animals was particularly exceptionable in the eyes of the said 
police, officer. According to him the meaning of the mention of the word 
cow was that the Dar al-Ulum had persuaded the Muslims to sacrifice it 
in contravention of the government orders to the contrary. The officer 
and his subordinates were pointed out that the cow had been mentioned 
by way of a proposilion (mas'ala) even as there was mention regarding 
the sacrifice of camel although camels are not sacrificed- anywhere in 
India. Moreover, there was a note that under the prevailing circumstances, 
the Muslims, in view of the expediencies of the time, should observe the 
milieu of the country and should abstain from ways which might cause 
breach of peace. Besides this, the Dar al-Ulum being a central religious 


insii.ution in the world of Islam, it was binding upon it to siate and issue 
reiigio-legai orders which were being sent in large numbers outside India 
also where there was no restriction on the sacrifice of the cow, and, more- 
over, in India itself their were many places where caw slaughter was not 
prohibited. But the police officers were not convinced and they persist 
in their insistence. So under i heir insistence and- to dispe! their imaginary 
suspicions, an additional declaration was published to the effect that "at 
places where .here is a government ban on cow-slaughter, one should 
refrain from slaughtering the cow, ox, calf for the sake of the existing 
circumstances in the country and mutual affection and unity; moreover, 
there must be full regard for the orders of the government". 

Prolest-meetings were held at various places against insolent, sacrile- 
gious and humiliating behaviour of the police officers and this malicious 
attempt was also censured by newspapers. 


After the partition of ihe country students from Pakistan had comple- 
tely ceased to come to Deoband due to the permit system; they particularly 
had been left no means of prosecuting their studies at the Dar al-Ulum. 
In view of the world-wide fame of the Dar al-Ulum students were anxious 
to come there, sending applica.ions after applications, requesting the pro- 
vision of means which might help them achieve the jewel of their obje- 
ctive (knowledge). This situation was presented before the Government 
of India. The Ministry of Education, complying with the request, gave 
permission that students who wished to come to the Dar al-Ulum would 
be given, on application, a one-year permit 1 which could be extended as 
per requirement from the state government. But, notwithstanding this 
permission, this system could not go on for a !ong time due to official re- 


This year the Foreign Ministry and All-India Radio felt the need, in 
connection with its broadcasts, of Introducing the history of the Dar al- 
Ulum and its existing conditions to Ihe outside world, particularly to the 
countries of the Middle East. Accordingly, with this purpese, officials of 
the Foreign Ministry and the All-India Radio Station came to Deoband 

1, Passport and visa were not necessary for travel 1 between the two countries then; 
one could travel on obtaining a permit from one country to the other. 


one afler another to obiain First-hand information and take photographs 
of the Dar a]-Uium. Among ihe latter were included the deputy director 
of the All-India Radio for the Middle East and organisers of broadcasts to 
Egypt and Iron. They took photographs of the large buildings of the Dar 
al-Ulum as well as its different departments and rare manuscripts. It 
will be quite apt here to reproduce ihe words in which these gentlemen 
expressed their impressions after inspecting the Dar al-Ulum :— 

The words of Mr. M. A. N., deputy director for the Middle East sec- 
tion, were as under : 

"Here simple life and the spirit of high thinking is met with in its true 
sense. I heard and observed some lectures and also saw in what an 
ordered and disciplined manner food is distributed to the students. The 
kitchen was very neat and ciean. The accounts of finances are kept 
very regularly. There is a very big library in ihe Dar al-Ulum, con- 
taining valuable books on diffeient subjects. In fact this institution is 
a university". 

Mr. Abd al-Fattah Udah, organiser of the Arabic broadcas's, said : 

"If is a fact that 1 Found a citadel of Islam and a shelter of faith and 
the prophetic sunnaiis in Deoband. On coming here I come to know 
what kind of capacity the Dar al-Ulum has had for both the religion 
and the world and the Hereafter. It is a very valuable legacy the main- 
taining of which is very necessary for us, and it is also necessary that 
we make it a pillar end prop for constructing the future". 

Mr. Ali Ameer Muizz, the organiser of the Persian broadcasts, stated ; 
"It is that place where ! felt the true grandeur and power of Islam. I 
observed that the rows of the Muslims in prayer were not empty and 
every one vied with one another to go forward. Ultimately the day 
will come when the shadows of the unity and simplicity of Islam and 
as a result of the Muslims' selflessness and lack of hypocrisy, Islam will 
spread all over the world. 

"Worship to Allah in accordance with the method shown by Islam from 
which we, in the countries of the Middle East, had been far removed, 
and worldly good and pelf, and pomp and splendour had dazzled our 
eyes, we found in this sacred place, and we found it in such a way 
that we reacquainted ourselves with the glory of Islam". 



Even as the academic benefit of the Dar al-Ulum is universal, ihe 
circle of its sympathisers is also very vast. You have already seen that 
besides the Muslims of India the Muslims of other countries also have par- 
ticipated more or less in Ms construction and progress; particularly Afgha- 
nistan, which has always given importance to the religious services of 
the Dar al-Ulum. Accordingly, in view of the same old connections, the 
ambassador of Afghanistan, stationed at New Delhi. Sardar Najib 
Allah Khan, came to the Dor al-Uium on 7lh Rajab in his official capacity 
and for several hours exchanged views on academic problems with the 
elders of the Dar al-Ulum. hie inspected the different departments and 
classes of the Dar al-U'um. He stayed in the upper storey of the Bab 
al-Zahir, which is a magnificent monument to ihe patronage of know- 
ledge of King Muhammad Zahir Shah of Afghanistan. In honour of the 
respectable guest a function was held in the big hall of the Dar al-Hadith. 
After the greeting-panegyrics, the vice-chancellor, in his speech of wel- 
come, threw ample light on the historical relations between the Dar al- 
Ulum and Afghanistan and elucidated the international tack (maslak) of 
the Dar al-Ulum. At the end, His Excellency Sardar Najib Allah Khan, 
in his reply acknowledging the interest and relation of Afghanistan with 
the Dar al-Ulum and, the letter's greatness, said :— 

"The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is a public academic institution in the eyes 
of the Afghan masses, but on the basis of my observation I can say 
that this is not only an educational institution but is also a centre of 
Islamic culture. The Dar al-Ulum guarded religion and the Islamic sci- 
ences at a time when the Islamic sovereignty in India was no more and 
I hope lhat in future too it will remain engaged similarly in the service 
of arts and sciences. The Afghan masses, ulema and lovers of know- 
ledge not only appreciate its value but are also helpers and well-wish- 
ers of the ulema. 

"The foundation of Islamic culture rests on truth, love, equality and the 
discerning of reality, and this Dar al-Ulum is comprised of all these in- 

"The history of ihe Dar al-Ulum bears witness to the fact that it has 
always produced upright and truthful sons of whom the Dar al-Ulum 
can be justly proud. The Dar al-Ulum is not the heritage of India 
alone but is the patrimony for the whole Islamic world. Hence I pray 
to Allahi that He keep the Dar al-Ulum alive with all sorts of progress 
and make it useful for ihe world of Islam". 



Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the Education Minister of the Govern- 
ment of India, came to Deoband in the morning of 29th Rabi al-Akhir, 
A.H. 1370. Before his arrival his telegram reached Maulana Madani to 
the effee; that he would be reaching on 8th January and would dine with 
Maulana Muhammad Tayyib. He was given a very warm welcome en 
the day of his arrival. 

First of all he came to the Dar al-Ulum and observed such regard for 
the vice-chancellor's masnad that he sat a little away from the main seat. 
Conversation went on on educational matters for quite a long time 
Thereafter he went round the departments and classes. During this in- 
spection he kept expressing his views in his peculiar style about the im- 
portance and function of each and every department. After Zuhr, the 
function for welcome was held. Congratulatory panegyrics and addre- 
sses were presented. The vice-chancellor introduced the Dar al-Ulum in 
detail. In the last Maulana Azad delivered a very eloquent, aphoristic 
and enlightening speech in which, after mentioning the peculiarities of the 
ideal of life at the Dar al-Ulum, its academic importance and greatness 
and his longstanding relations with it, he. especially addressing the students, 
inculcated upon them some golden precepts. This latter part of the speech 
is so important that if the students make it the programme of their lives, 
there can be wrought a life-giving revolution in the world of knowledge. 
Maulana Azad said :— 

"Dear students ! Have you ever mused over this as to what is the 
purpose of this education that you are acquiring ? Is this knowledge the 
end or the means? There are many such things in the world which are a 
means and not the real objective; however those things that are the ob- 
jective cannot be achieved without them. Thus the means too will become 
the objective. For instance, what is in currency is the coin of gold or 
silver. This is the only means of earning wealth. But of what earthly 
use is it in the necessities of life? If one is thirsty, will silver quench 
one's thirst? In hunger, will gold assuage the hunger? But as long as 
gold or silver be not there, eatables and drinkables cannot be had. Thus 
gold and silver also become necessary. The government has issued cu- 
rrency notes. The slip of paper thereof is not worth even one-fourth of 
a paisa, but the government has printed "One Thousand Rupees" on it. 
Now this is a means; by means of this paper rupees and ashrafis are 
acquired. This slip of paper has become the means of realising one 
thousand rupees. Nowadays the people do not keep ashrafis of gold 
or silver coins worth one thousand rupees; they prefer to keep rather this 


piece of paper. Durability is not necessary in things which are in the 
order of means, but things included in objectives cannot admit changes. 
In hunger, food is the, objective,- means cannot be its substitute. 

"You left your homes and kith and kin and came here. Other sys- 
tems of education are also current in ihe country; people rush towards 
them but you closed your eyes against schools and colleges 
in order to acquire proficiency in the religious sciences. This 
is indeed a very auspicious intention. But the question is : 
'Is this knowledge that you are acquiring a means or an 
objective' ? If your mind failed to understand this, I should warn you 
that you are not doing the right work. Other peoples have always con- 
sidered knowledge to be a means but it is a peculiarity of the Muslims 
that they always considered knowledge not a means but an end. There 
are 24 universities in India; there are colleges and hundreds of thousands 
of schools which have now reached even villages. The education that 
is imparted in them is considered a means, not an end. Education is 
acquired in them merely for this that government services may be had 
and higher posts may be bagged. The man who goes there believes that 
as long as he has no degree from there he cannot earn his livelihood. 
But I wish top remind you that the knowledge to acquire which you have 
knelt down here respectfully, that knowledge is the end and not a means. 
It is not acquired as a means but it is acquired for the reason that its 
acquirement is a duty. The Muslims have always acquired knowledge for 
the sake of knowledge, not as a means; they never acquired knowledge 
for this that thereby they would earn their living. They adopted some- 
thing else as the means of livelihood. Those who have heard the stories 
about the ulema, they know that Imam Abu Hanifa who codified the 
science of Fiqh, which crores of Muslims follow, was a cloth-merchant. 
He did not make his vast knowledge the means of earning his living. 
Ma'ruf Karkhi was a cobbler. To day you are not willing even to hear 
about this avocation. He used to go out in Karkh, 1 sit down in the bazar, 
mend the shoes of the possersby and used to eke out his living thereby. 
Shams al-A'imma's name itself had become Halvai (confectioner); such a 
great savant had made the selling of sweetmeats the means of his liveli- 

"Similarly, the famous ulema of Islam caused to flow the streams of 
knowledge but never made the knowledge of religion a means of liveli- 
hood. They used to acquire knowledge for the sake of knowledge, not for 
the gilded, trifles of the world. It was a sin in their eyes to acquire 

1. Karkh is the name of a locality in Baghdad. 


knowledge to earn worldly things. They used to consider it their religious 
obligation to quench the thirst of the seekers of knowledge with the light 
of knowledge. It has been a peculiar habit of our ulema that they have 
taken it as their duty ,tc serve religion and disseminate religious sciences. 
They did not make their knowledge a marketable commodity. If you 
understand this reality, then you will have shaped the whole history of 
your life. 

"Allah has bestowed upon you the grace to acquire Ihe religious 
knowledge; so it is now your duty to convey its call to the ear of every 
person. After some days, having traversed the stages of education, you 
will become graduates and will then present yourselves before the world 
as religious divines. At that time this duty alone should be before you. 
If you do this, then I assure you that ihere shall be no higher position 
of honour under this sky than the knowledge that you are acquiring. 

"I pray that Allah Most High bestow upon you all ths grace for 
this; and 1 hope that, if it please Allah, [ will get a chance to participate 
in such functions again and again" I . 


The year 1 366 1 947, i.e., the year of the partition of the country 
v/as a very distressing year as regards the income of the Dar al-Ulum. 
These areas of undivided India that had now fallen to the lot of Pakistan 
were* the areas of income for the Dar al-Ulum. While there used to come 
more donations from what was now West Pakistan, large numbers of 
students used to come from East Pakistan. Then the riots at Delhi, 
Calcutta and Hyderabad and consequently the emigration of a majority 
of the commercial Muslim population of these places to Pakistan caused 
more distress. This period was of great ordeal and adversity for the Dar 
a!-Ulum; but gradually this predicament kept changing. The number of 
students which had decreaced to 1,000 from 1,600 went up to more than 
1,200 this year. The income was also increasing steadily though 
gradually. When conditions became normal, the charitable people from 
Pakistan helped the Dar al-Ulum very generously. Accordingly, offices 
were opened by the Dar al-Ulum at central places in Pakistan for the 
realisation of donations. The greatest help from Pakistan for some years 
came in the form of grains. 5,000 maunds of wheat which used to suffice 
for the necessities of the students, teachers and the other staff for an year 

1. For detail, vide "Rudad-e Khair-maqdam-e Maulana Azad", published by 
Daf!ar-e Ehtemam, Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. (Sayyid Mahboob Bizvi). 


used to come every year a! a very ordinary rate from Bhawalpur 
(Pakistan). This grain from Bhawalpur during this critical period played 
a very great role in sustaining the Dar al-Ulum; had this help, particularly 
after the partition of the country, been not available for four years, the 
Dar al-Ulum would have faced untold difficulties. May Allah Most High 
bestow good reward and great recompense upon those people whose 
attention, effort and endeavour proved so helpful to the Dar al-Ulum under 
such critical circumstances ! 


Acharya Vinoba Bhave, in connection with his movement for 
Bhoomidan, arrived at Deoband on 2nd Rabi al-Awwal, A.H. 1371 
(December 2, 1951). Co-incidentally, the Mapis-e Shura was holding its 
meeting on that date, The vice-chanceilor and Maulana Hifz al-Rahmqn 
went to call upon the Acharyaji at his place of stay. Due to want of time 
Acharyaji could not get a chance to' pay a visit 1o the Dar al-Ulum during 
day. So at about 7-00 p.m. he came and after seeing the Dar al-Ulum 
he expressed gladness thai he got a chance to see this wonderful 
institution of Asia. He congratulated the students and authorities of ihe 
Dar al-Ulum that, keeping the lofty ideal of service to the country and 
the community before themselves, they rendered glorious services during 
the period of slavery under the British paramountey. 

Delivering a brief speech at the students' request, he said : "This 
university is the best wealth of our country in which have gathered young 
men from all over Asia through whom we can fill colour in the map of 
the unity of Asia. I hope that this university will render much greater 
and more glorious service in the period of liberty than it did during 
the period of slavery. We shall be able to convey our message to East 
Asia through this university. India has always been a repository of love 
and unity. Many nations came here and were refreshed from the Ganges 
and the Jamuna of love and unity. India wants to convey this message 
of itself to the whole of Asia, rather to the whole world. With this 
message the present knot of the world con be unravelled, and we are 
sure that this university will prove very helpful in conveying this 
message". 1 

After going round ihe Dar al-Ulum, Acharycji, especially mentioning 
the role of the Dar al-Ulum in his speech that he delivered in the town, 
said :— 

1. "Al-Jami'at" Daily (Delhi), dated Dec. 8, 1851. 


"I was very glad on reaching this university. It is an institution that 
leads to a simple life, less and less necessities of life and a purposeful 
life; an institution that has enriched thousands and millions of men with 
the blessings (barakat) of religion. It is a great centre of knowledge; the 
winds of knowledge that blow from here spread far and wide. 

"I was very glad to see that in this age of machines the people of this 
institution, though aware of the importance of mechanical life, pass 
very simple life". i 

At the end he scid : "This is the one institution which from ils very 
first day opposed the British imperialism and in the process offered 
sacrifices on every front earlier than all others". 


The economic adversity that followed as a sequel of the war did 
not leave any institution unaffected, it's effect on the Dar al-Ulum too was 
inevitable. On the other hand, the big areas of income had gone over 
to Pakistan after the vivisection of the. country. So, a world-wide appeal 
for donations to this common trust of the Muslims of the world was 
published and, thank Allah, it brought out the desired result. Pakistan 
and South Africa particularly took greater part in it, so much so that 
even Southern Rhodesia which had been never heard of in the helping 
circle of the Dar al-Ulum joined the ranks of the donors, and, by Allah's 
grace, the boa! of the Dar al-Ulum, perilously swirled in the malestrom of 
financial stringency, escaped and sailed forth towards the shore of desire. 


Besides this, a new scheme was started in the Dar af-Ulum,- i.e.. 
when the Rabi crop was ready for harvesting, the Dar al-Ulum called a 
representative gatherinq of the Muslim land-lords (zemindars) and 
cultivators of the surroundiny areas, and they decided unanimously 
that they would not leave ony stone unturned in helping the Dar 
al-Ulum, The form proposed for this help was that the zamindars and 
cultivators themselves supply 5,000 maunds of wheat for ihe yearly 
needs of the Dar al-Ulum. £o this scheme was put into practice and 
notwithstanding our lack of experience of this type of work and the 
season of harvesting coinciding exactly with the month of Ramazan, 
3,500 maunds of wheat were collected. Though this quantity of the grain 
was less than the estimated requirement, it supported the Dar ol-Ulum a 
great deal in that critical time of confounding dearness. May Allah 
bestow good and prosperity in the wealth of the doers of this virtuous 
act I This practice of collecting grain continues todate and now, besides 
the districts of Meerut division, the areas of Bijnore and Haryana have also 
joined it. 



The Arab League which is a political organisation of the Arabian 
countries, besides its political activities, takes interest in academic works 
also. In this connection the cultural section of the League keeps sending 
its representatives to various countries for collecting rare and scarce books 
for its own library so that with the obtaining of rare MSS. from the 
libraries of the world it may build up a matchless academic stock. As 
such it sent its representative. Shaikh Muhammad Rashad ibn Abd 
al-Muttalib to India. The Shaikh came. Jo Deoband, selected .half a dozen 
MSS. and took away their photo-copies. 

Shaikh Muhammad Rashad ibn Abd al-Muttaiib was not only a 
young scholar of Arcbic and English languages but was also aware of 
those academic and research requirements which the present-day 
European culture and scientific methods of investigations have produced 
among the educated class. His academic tours of many countries had 
made him a very br*adminded person. The impression that he gathered 
after inspecting the Dar ai-Uium is evident from the words he has put 
in the inspection Book :— 

"There is no doubt about it that one of the things amongst the great 
causes of its exultation is that I found this huge building erected 
absolutely in the old style and on strong foundations. There is only one 
reason for this : The founders' sincerity with Allah Most High and their 
pious deeds" ! 


As stated in the foregone, medical education had been started in 
the Dar al-Ulurn within a few years of its establishment. Besides teaching 
medical books, the physician (hakim) of the Dar al-Ulum used to give 
medical treatment to its students. The students who fell ill used to get 
their ailments diagnosed by the physician and the medicines prescribed 
by him from the pharmacists appointed by the Dar al-Uium, which used 
to foot the medical bill. This method was sufficient for ordinary patients 
buv for those involved in serious diseases the establishment cf a well- 
appointed clinic was under consideration 'for a long time. Accordingly, 
a Dar a!-Shifa (clinic) was started this year and a building was especially 
constructed for it. In it along with a stock of simple compound and 
patent medicines, beds, beddings and the requisite paraphernalia for 
treatment and nursing have also been provided. 


As soon as this department was started, Hamdard Dawakhana, 
Delhi, offered medicines worth one thousand rupees annually for the 
students. Now the cost of these medicines has gone up to Rs. 3,000 per 
annum. Other Tibbi pharmacies too, in proportion to their capacity and 
generosity, have been helping the Dar al-Shifa by donating their 
preparations, particularly the well-known allopathic pharmaceutical firm 
of Amin & Isma'il of Calcutta and Hind C. C, Works of Mau Math Bhanjun 
(Azamgarh) which regularly send their special and patent medicines. 

The staff in the Dar al-Shifa, besides seven hakims, consists of six 
men who render different services like the distribution of medicines, 
nursing etc. 


The spacious courtyard of the new hostel spreads over an area of 
several acres of land. Four to five hundred students always occupy the 
rooms of this hostel. Though many boring-taps had been installed in its 
compound, they proved quite insufficient for such a large strength and 
for irrigating the orchard of the hostel. So, to remove this scarcity of 
water, a tubewell was constructed in the compound. Now the students 
get plenty of potable water for their needs and the orchard is also 
irrigated regularly. 



A news of that dream of Shah Saud of Hejaz, in which the Holy 
Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him !) had drawn his 
attention to the Prophet's Mosque and wherefore a map for expanding 
it was being prepared by the Saudi government, was being published in 
the newspapers of the Islamic world. On this occasion congratulations 
had been sent to Shah Saud by the Dar al-Ulurn, saying that "the true 
dreams in which the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be upon 
him ! ) has addressed the Jalalat al-Mulk have been published in 
newspapers whereby our faith in him (the latter) has increased 
considerably; we wish the Jalalat al-Mulk long life and more divine 
grace for serving the two holy cities (Harmayn-e Sharifayn)" I 

The reply-telegram received from the Jalalat al-Mulk through the 
ambassador of Hejaz residing in India read as follows i— 

'The Jalalat al-Mulk has commanded me that for the sentiments 
your honour have expressed in your telegram I should conv»v tn vour 


honour and the staff of the Dar al-Ulum the Jatalat al-Mulk's message of 

pleasure. The Jalalat al-Mulk prays la Allah Most High to bestow upon 
him all those things which may be suitable for Islam and the Muslims' 

weal". 1 

By chance the Jalalat al-Mulk happened to come to India this year, 
and concentrating his royal attention on the Dar al-Ulum gave it a gift 

of Rs. 25,000. i 


The present president of the Arab Jamhouriya, Anwar al-Sadat, who 
was then the general secretary of the Mutamar-e Islami, came to the 
Dar al-Ulum. He committed to paper his impressions in the following 
words :— 

"The visit to this great and historical educational institution has 
compelled me that I offer congratulations from the bottom of my heart 
to my brethren who are running this institution. I pray to Allah Most • 
High that He make this institution a light-house of knowledge and gnosis 
and bestow upon the Muslims the grace to benefit from it for ever and 


On demand of a research-scholar of the department of Islamic 
Studies of Canada University, whose topic of research was "The Muslims' 
Religious Education in the Present Times", o disquisition on the academic 
and religious history of the Dar al-Ulum was written and sent to him. 
It proved a very good means of introduction of the Dar al-Ulum In 
America and Europe. The disquisition was written at the instance of the 
vice-chancellor by the present writer." 


At the time the general secretary of the Mutamar-e Islami, Anwar 
al-Sadat, came to the Dar al-Ulum, the vice-chancellor had expressed 
his desire to him for the cultivation of relations between the Jama-e Aihar 
end the Dar ai-Ulum. This suggestion of the vice-chancellor was warmly 
welcomed both in the Mutamar-e Islami and the Jama-e Azhar, and great 

1. Dar al-Ulum, monthly, Jamadi al-Ula, A.H. 1374, p. 4. 

2. Dar al-Ulum, monthly, July. 1955, p. 4. 


professors like Shaikh Abd at-Mun'lm al-Namr and Shaikh Abd al-Aal al- 
Aqabawi were sent to the Dar al-Ulum for a period of two years io 
teach modern Arabic literature and penmanship (isha), When their 
term was over. Shaikh Abd al-Wahhab Mahmud came in their place. 

From the time this relation nasi been created with the Jama-e Azhar, 
a particular zest for speaking and writing in the Arabic language and 
literature has developed in the Dar al-Ulum and now a separate depart- 
ment under the name "Saff-e Arabi" is maintained in which students 
acquire proficiency in Arabic speech and lucubration and thus hundreds 
ot students have become proficient in colloquial Arabic and Arabic com- 


According to the common custom of our mosques, the fountain of 
water of the mosque of the Dar al-Ulum was in the middle of the court- 
yard and it used to be inconvenient to sit around it for making ablution 
during the rainy season, summer and winter. Moreover, due to the 
increase in the strength of the students, the courtyard had become narrow. 
So, in A.H. 1375, the foundation was shifted from the middle to the east, 
just under the Dar al-lfta. By ihis shifting not only the courtyard became 
spacious but the inconvenience of making ablution in open space during 
inclement weather was also removed. 

At the same time a large reservoir of hot water has also been con- 
struited for the winter season. A pipe connected with it and having 
several brass taps has been fitted around the fountain. This has made 
ablution-making very convenient and now a number of people sitting 
around the fountain can perform ablution simultaneously with warm 


This year our Hindu brethren held two important gatherings in the 
country : one under the name "Internationa! Arya Samaj Conference" at 
Sherkot (Dist. Bijnore) and the other under the name "International Arya- 
vart Conference" at Rajpura (Dist. Dehradun). In both thesei conferences 
the preacher of the Dar al-Ulum, Maulano Saif Allah Hashimi, represeented 
the Dar al-Ulum. In '!he former he spoke on "The Natural Teachings & 
Good Morals of Islam". In this conference the chairman of the function, 
paying a tribute to the Dar al-Ulum, declared :— 


"The virtues of islam are much more than those of other religions 
and the mission of the Dar al-Ulum proved much higher and loftier than 
all other missions". 

In the conference held at Dehradun the lauded Maulana spoke on 
the topic of Allah's Unity, the common divine mission of all the prophets 
and apostles, Islamic fraternity and feilow-feeiing . On this speech a 
newspaper of Dehradun, iHehad-e Duniya, commented in the following 


"The Hindu Raja, Charit Singh Sahib, said that the best speech was 
that of Jartctb Saif Allah Sahib, who came from Deoband and spoke on 
Islam. This preacher of Islam preached in such a way that no follower of 
any other religion could say even a whit against what he said and many 
praised him". 1 


Fetwas were being sought from the Dar al-Ulum from its very in- 
ception, Incipiently Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi was handl- 
ing this job single-handed. After his demise this work was being taken 
from different teachers, but when the number of fetwas sought increas- 
ed inordinately, an independent Dar al-lfta was instituted for this pur- 
pose in A.H. 1310 and Maulana Mufti Aziz al-Rahman was appointed as 
the first mufti of the Dar al-Ulum, In the beginning there was no system 
of preserving the copies of the fetwas but from the end of Zi-qa'da, 
A.H. 1329, the rule of preserving copies began and hence the copies of 
the fewas issued during the first 47 years of the Dar al-Ulum are not 
extant. The number of fetwas issued during the said Mufti's time, i.e., 
from Zi-qa'da, A.H. 1329 to A.H. 1346, comes to 37,561. Generally one 
fetwa-seeker sends not one but several queries. If on art average three 
queries are supposed to come from each fetwa-seeker, the number of pro- 
positions ( masa'il ) multiplies threefold and runs into approximately one 
and a quarter lakhs. 

The Majlis-e Shura approved the vice-chancellor's motion that the 
accumulated fetwas be classified according to the juridical order and be 
published. The compiler and editor of Ihese fetwas, Maulana Zafeer al- 
Din, while arranging 'hem, has eliminated the repeated fetwas, retaining, 
however, those which may have some remarkable difference. The learn- 
ed compiler has taken upon himself the task of giving references from 
books of Fiqh in such propositions for which references had not been men- 

Rudad, A.H. 1375. p. 16, 


Honed in the fetwas; at the same time, besides naming the book and the 
chapter in the references, the very text of the proposition has also been 
reproduced. This undertaking has made each and every proposition well- 
substantiated; and if the reader wishes to refer to the original book, he 
can, do so without much difficulty. The usefulness of the Fatawa Dar al- 
Ulum has much increased due to this undertaking. These fetwas in their 
original state were datewise,- i.e., preserved in the order in which they had 
been sent by the fetwa-seekers, and had also been answered in the same 
order. But to compile them into book form they have been pnanged in 
the juridical style proposition-wise, which can be estimated from this that 
there are 1& chapters in the Book of Prayer, each sub-divided into four 
sections so that there may be met no difficulty in finding out the required 

The first volume of the Fatawa Dar al-Ulum had been published in 
A.H. 1382. Since then nine volumes have been published so far and 
many morei still remain to go to the press. The popularity of these volu- 
mes can be known from the fact that though the series of the Fatawa is 
still incomplete, thei ones that have been published have run into several 
editions todate. 1 The 9th volume comprises the propositions and orders of 
the Book of Divorce and runs into nearly 500 pages. 

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, on the occasion of his visit to the Dar 
al-Ulum. in A.H. 1370, had remarked on seeing this stock of the fetwas 
that "a new Tatar Khaniya can be compiled from this; it is a great reli- 
gious service whereby the difficulties of the people are solved". 3 


Among the, important events of this year is the visit of Dr. Rajendra 
Prosad, the president of the Republic of India, to the Dar al-Ulum. 

1. For details, vide Introduction to the first volume of the said Fatawa. 

2. Fatawa Tatar Khaniya, like the Fatawa Alarngiri, is a voluminous tome of Figh, 
compiled in India. In the arrangement of its chapters its model is the Hedaya. 
!n the 8th century hijri, during the regime of the Tughlaq dynasty, Shaikh Alam 
bin Ala al-Hanafi, at the instance of Khan-e Azam Tatar Khan, had compiled 
this collection of the Hanafite Fiqh into four bulky volumes. The said Khan 
graced the post of prime-minister during the reign of Sultan Firoze Shah Tughlaq. 
The Fatawa Tatar Khaniya has been very famous for some time. A divine of 
Aleppo, Ibrahim bin Muhammad has prepared an epitome also of this book. 
It Is stated in the Kashf al-Zanun that no title had been proposed for this book 
but as it had been ascribed to Khan-e Azam, it became famous as Fatawa 
Tatar Khaniya. (Kashf al-Zanu.n, pub. Istanbul, vol. i, p. 211), 


The president came to the Dar al-Ulum on 14th Zil-hijja, A.H. 1376 

(July 13, 1957). This was the first ever occasion that a head of a country 
came to the Dar al-Ulum. Besides Maulana Husain Ahmed Madani, Mau- 
lana Hifz al-Rahman, Maulana Muhammad Tayyib, vice-chancellor of the 
Dar al-Ulum, and Maulana Mufti Atiq al-Rahmcn Usmani the represen- 
tatives of the Mutamar-e Islam, Shaikh Abd al-Mun'im ol-Nomr and 
Shaikh Abd al-Aa! al-Aqabawi, etc., welcomed the president at the rail- 
way station. When the president's limousine started for the Dar al-Ulum, 
thousands of people of Deoband and the surrounding areas were stand- 
ing on both sides of the road to welcome him lustily. Never before in 
the history of the Dar al-Ulum had such welcome been accorded to any- 
one. The entire route had been decorated with small flags of variegated 
colours and the very first arch near the railway station had ihis inscrip- 
tion :— 

"Our eyes and hearts pave the way". 

The students were standing in double rows outside the compound of 
the Dar al-Ulum. On this occasion the students of India and those of 
foreign countries had formed separate groups, the former representing 
almost all the states of India. 

The presiden! inspected the Dar al-Ulum thoroughly. He saw the 
buildings, looked into the rare manuscripts of the library, listened to the 
story of the sacrifices of the ulema of Deoband for the independence of 
the country, observed the simple lifestyle of the teachers and the taught, 
looked at a Persian translation of !he Holy Quran very minutely and 
ordered this writer to read the translation of some of the verses for him. 
After he had gone round the Dar al-Ulum, the vice-chancellor, in a 
glorious function of welcome, presented the address. The president, in his 
reply to it, paying glowing tributes to the Dar al-Ulum, said :— 

'The elders of the Dar al-Ulum have rendered service not only to the 
inhabitants of this country but they have also achieved such fame from 
their services that students of foreign lands also flock to your institute 
and, after having acquired education here, they go back to their coun- 
tries and disseminate whatever they have learnt here. This thing is 
worthy of being proud of for all the people of this country. I hope 
that you will continue to work in future also with the same sincerity 
and good intention and ambition and will with which you have been 
working to-date. It is my hope that this Dar al-Ulum will keep making 
progress from day to day and will serve not only this country but 
others also". 


After the at-home in the afternoon, the president, thanking the 
members of the Dar al-Ulum, said :— 

'The august men of the Dar al-Ulum have been learning and imparting 
knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Such men have been there in 
the past also, but very few who acquired knowledge and taught It 
merely for the sake of serving knowledge. They used to be more 
honoured than the kings. Today the elders of the Dar al-Ulum are treading 
the same path and I understand that this is not only a service to 
the Dar al-Ulum or to the Muslims but it is also a service to the whole 
country and the world. 

"Restlessness has spread in the world today due to the advancement of 
materialism; composure of mind and peace of heart are wanting. Its 
correct remedy is spiritualism. I find that the elders of this place are 
providing those necessaries of peace and solace for the world. I under- 
stand that if God chooses to keep this world in tact, the world has 
at last to come to this line. Hence the important academic service the 
august men of the Dar al-Ulum are rendering will surely advance and 
the work will continue like this only. I was very much pleased on 
coming to the Dar al-Ulum and I am taking away something from here. 
I thank all the responsible persons of the Dar al-Ulum". 1 

The vice-chancellor expressed his impressions about the president of 
the republic of India in the following words :— 

"I found the president of the republic of India not only a dignified 
personality gracing a very high post but also found him to be of an 
extreme Sufi temperament and an augustly affectionate man conforming 
strictly to religion and morality". 

It will not be out of place to reproduce the views of the English 
press of India, particularly The Hindustan Times, which it expressed on 
this occasion of the president's visit to ihe Dar al-Ulum. The Hindustan 
Times, in its leader, has interpreted those progressive tendencies which 
are found In the modern educated class of today. 

It has stated that very few people in India can claim to know more 
about such institutions which have not received much publicity, but 
which have been influencing individuals and events for a long time with 
their silent and regular work. One such institution in Deoband is an 

1. Sadar-e Jamhouriya-e Hind Dar al-Ulum Men, pp. 27,32 by S.M. Rizvi, published 
by Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. 


Islamic school, the Dar al-Ulum, where the president of the democratic 
republic of India had gone. As a religious academy, the Dar al-Ulum is 
second to the Ai-Azhar University. Cairo, in the world of Islam, hence it 
is not surprising that a delegation consisting of two teachers of the 
Al-Azhan is working in the Dar al-Ulum for the past two years. The men 
who laid the foundation of this school in Deoband in 1866 included those 
ulema also who had taken part in the fight for freedom ten years earlier. 
Most probably ihe founding of the madrasah was a reaction to the 
establishment of an alien rule in the country, because thereafter the 
leaders of Deoband enthusiastically participated in all those movements 
the purpose of which was to achieve independence for the country. Most of 
the leaders of the Jami'at-e Ulema-e Hind, which is a powerful body of 
nationalist ulema, have been the graduates of Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. 
Neither the pro-British policies of the Muslim League nor the two-nation 
theory could at anyiime withhold these courageous ulema from taking 
part In activities of a national character. They were against Britain 
during the period of khilafat and in 1940, during World War II, they 
corroborated the Congress tendency. But this teaching institute has 
played an important role not only in the political life of the country but 
its religious work also, which includes the production of books from 
Deoband, has been appreciated in the Islamic world. In the field of 
education it maintained the traditions of Islamic studies, took an enlivened 
interest in Arabic and Persian and gave a fillip to the cause of Urdu. 

The criticism that can be levelled against this institute of Deoband, 
said The Hindustan Times, is that socially and in the academic field it 
has not been much progressive. Its insistence on a classical type of 
inertia and conservatism can be appreciated but if it has the wish which 
it should have to use its influence, then it will have to moderate its melhod 
of work in accordance with the present circumstances. Nationalism has 
now taken on a 1 new meaning, and religion too should now have a new 
interpretation according to the present conditions. The movement from 
different religious leaders for producing more understanding and identity 
among their followers deserves a special attention; nevertheless, this 
effort should not be on an argumentative basis. It is the work of dignified 
institutions like this school that they render help in taking practical 
steps for developing such views that may comprise respect" for the prin- 
ciples and worship of all religions, and, at the same time, encourage all, 
keeping in mind the modern tendency of pure and sound nationalism. 1 

The Al-Jami'at daily of Delhi had immediately commented upon that 
sincere counsel The Hindustan Times had given the Dar al-Ulum at 

1. The Hindustan Times, July 16, 1957. 


the end of its leader. After this review there remains no need of any 
further reply. The review of the Al-Jami'at was as under:— 

"The president of the republic of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, 
happened to pay a visit to the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, recently. The purpose 
of this visit was to inspect the largest Islamic university of India, 
the Dar ol-Ulum, Deoband, and to cultivate a relation with this centre 
of learning which has been the fountain-head of the movement of inde- 
pendence for a century. Reaching there he cast a look at the library of 
the Dar al-Ulum, accorded the honour of inspection to its rare and scarce 
MSS,, exchanged views with its eminent teachers, extolled the long services 
of the Dar al-Ulum in his speech, acknowledged its hislorical and 
religious greatness, and returned with the finest sentiments regarding it. 

"The contemporary. The Hindustan Times, too, has given speciol 
importance to this brief visit of the respected president and has paid a 
glowing tribute to the glorious past of the Dar al-Ulum with full generosity. 
It has rightly admitted that the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is one of 
those institutions which by its silent and continuous services has always 
influenced men and events and in India it is the only Islamic university 
which, nex. to the Azhor University of Cairo, enjoys a very special 
importance. Its founders include ihose men who took part in the fight for 
freedom long ago and participated in every movement for independence. 
The powerful personalities of the Jami'at al-Ularna-e Hind, which is the 
strongest organisation of the nationalist ulema, are a product of this very 
Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. Neither the pro-British policy of the Muslim 
League could affect these ulema nor the two-nation iheory could change 
their angle of vision. During the course of the independence movement 
also these ulema always remained in the forefront in corroborating the 
decisions of the Congress. Whatever has our contemporary said in these 
lines regarding the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, the Jami'at al-UIama and its 
leaders is based on facts only and we are glad that facts have been 
acknowledged so sportingly and cheerfully. 

"Along with these candid acknowledgements the contemporary has 
also given the counsel that the Dar al-Ulum, while adhering to its con- 
servatism, create this much flexibility thot it may have a reach to 
modern problems. It has stated that if there can be any objection against 
the Dar al-Ulum, it is this only that it did not make satisfactory progress 
in the social and academic fields. But according to us there is nothing 
objectionable in it. A brother has had the privilege to give counsel to 
the other brother and put his finger upon some of his drawbacks; 
so we also shall submit in the same spirit of fellow-feeling 


that the meaning of progress and conservatism can also be relative. It 
is possible that, according to the opinion of the contemporary, there may 
be inertia in the character of the Dar al-Ulum, but in reality it may not 
be so. The Dar al-Ulum has always been striving to achieve the objectives 
for which it has been established. Had the partition of India not 
come into actuality and ihe change of circumstances not affected its 
finances, the sphere of its work would have surely widened and ! it would 
have stepped forward in the field of progress. But it could not be, of 
which we are more conscious than our esteemed contemporary. 

"Among the counsels given by our contemporary there is also included 
the advice that as today a new meaning is being given to nationalism, 
the elucidation and reconstruction of religion should also be such so as 
to conform to the present conditions. Perhaps the contemporary will be 
glad to hear that the principles of Islam conform to every period and 
we are not constrained to give any such connotation that may be tanta- 
mount to the garbling or negativating of those principles. Experience 
is a witness that amongst the universal principles, equality, human 
brotherhood, respect for humanity and amongst personal laws, divorce, 
inheritance and woman's rights are the result of the guidance of Islam 
alone; and others have given a proof of their modernism by conforming 
to these very principles and laws of Islam. As far as the new interpre- 
tation of religion is concerned, others always find it necessary; whereas 
Islam by itself is such an interpretation which fulfils every need of society. 

"This statement of the contemporary is indeed true that the leaders 
of ail the religions should strive more and more for conciliation; and that 
it is necessary for an instiiuiion like the Dar al-Ulum that respecting the 
principles and deeds of all religions it should cultivate such thoughts 
which, along with the current tendencies, may develop a real and healthy 
nationalism. Undoubtedly it is difficult to dissent from this counsel; but 
if the meaning of nationalism is not that which is notorious for its narrow- 
mindedness and fanaticism, then the uiema of Deoband have always 
been the standard-bearers of nationalism. During the earliest period of 
the movement for independence when nationalism was in its infancy, and 
the ulema of Deoband drew a sketch of their sovereignty, their choice 
for its presidentship fell upon Raja Mahendra Pratap. Let us therefore 
assert that a better and clearer nationalism couid not be produced to- 
date and in future too it cannot be expected with full certainty. We too 
have used the language of hints for the contemporary's language of 
hints and we hope that it wili not find it difficult to understand it". 1 


1. Al-Jami'at, daily (Delhi), July 19, 1957. 



The important events of this year include the vice-chancellor's journey 
to Burma. The incentive for this journey came from a charitable man, 
Haji Isma'il Muhammad Bagia of Rangoon who originolly hails from 
Surat (Gujarat) but has been residing in Rangoon for a long time in con- 
nection with his business. This journey of the vice-chancellor continued 
from 15th Jamadi al-Ula to 28th Rajab and he happened to visit different 
cities of Burma at the invitation of the charity-prone people of those places. 
Through this long journey of the vice-chancellor the introduction of the 
Dar al-Ufum in Burma passed on from the noteworthy men to the masses 
and its circle of influence became extraordinarily wide. The common 
people and the government both were impressed by the vice-chancellor's 
Personality. Besides the prime minister of Burma, Mr. U Nu, the Minister 
of Justice, Mr. Abd al-Latif, and the Minister of Minerals, Abd al-Rasheed, 
played a great part in making the objective of the journey successful; Mr. 
Abd al-Latif particularly accompanied the vice-chancellor in most of the 
journeys. The people expressed their unusual impression by collecting a 
sum of more than two lakhs of rupees for the Dar al-Ulum and the kindly 
government showed its liberality by allowing the transfer 'of this large 
sum to India. With this money a large hall has been built for the library 
of the Dar al-Ulum which is a great memorial of the Muslims of Burma 
in the Dar al-Ulum. 

A very special thing about this donation is that a sum of two thou- 
sand rupees had been donated by the prime minister, Mr. U Nu, himself. 
His good self, though a non-Muslim, established an unforgettable example 
of his academic generosily and tolerance. Thanking the Muslims of 
Burma for their love of knowledge, the Majlis-e Shura of the Dar al-Ulum 
has especially thanked the large-hearted prime minister of Burma. It is 
necessary to point out heie that the people of Burma, particularly the 
charitable gentlemen of Rangoon, had been taking part in helping the 
Dar al-Ulum for a long time but this was the first occasion when 
they collected such a large sum. The details of this journey have been 
published under the title "Safar Nama-e Burma" in book-form. 


The greatest and the most soul-crushing incident among the incidents 
of this year, which was a major incident not only for the Dar al-Ulum but 
also for the entire Muslim world, was that of the sad demise of Maulana 
Sayyid Husain Ahmed Madam, dean, Dar a!-Ulum, Deoband. He passed 
away after a long illness on 12th Jamadi al-Ula, A.H. 1377 (December 5, 


1957). Maulana Madani's personality was not only that of a dean 
of the Dar ai-Uium bui he was also its protagonist and patron. Teachers, 
clerks, students, all used to benefit from his external and internal graces. 
For 31 years he rendered matchless service in his capacity as Professor 1 of 
Hadith (Shaikh al-Hadiih) to the Science of Hadith and to the system of 
education of the Dar al-Ulum and thousands of the seekers of knowledge 
quenched their thirst from the huge river of his knowledge and gnosis. 
As many as 4,483 students completed the course of Hadith under his in- 
struction. Maulana Madani, by virtue of his knowledge and learning, 
abstinence and piety, good morals and accomplishments, and his acade- 
mic, religious, political and social services, possessed a peerless personality 
among the academic, religious and political ranks of the ulema; hence the 
shock of this major incident was felt through out the Muslim world. Now 
Maulana Madani (may Allah illuminate his grove!) lies buried besides his 
great teacher, Shaikh al-Hind (may his secret be sanctified!) in the Qasimi 


The auspicious visit of King Muhammad Zahir Shah of Afghanistan 
in A.H. 1377 is one of the important events of this year which will 
always remain memorable in the history of the Dar al-Ulum. It is such a 
chapter of the history of the Dar al-Ulum which not only sets a seal of 
confirmation on its golden past but also indicates its bright future. The 
king of Afghanistan, by way of patronising knowledge, honoured the 
invitation of the Dar al-Ulum with acceptance and as per the scheduled 
programme, arrived by car on 5th Sha'ban, A.H. 1377 (February 25, 
1958). He was accorded a grand welcome, befitting his royal status. 


It is apt to mention here that there have always been sincere relations 
between the Dar al-Ulum and Afghanistan, with sentiments of well-wish- 
ing being found on both the sides. 1 The magnificent gate, "Bab al- 
Zahir", in the campus of the Dar al-Ulum is such a monument to the deep 
mutual relations of the Dar al-Ulum and Afghanistan that it diverts the 
mind of every visitor and frequenter towards the "God-given kingdom" 
of Afghanistan. 

The relation between India and Afghanistan, from the geographical 
and historical points of view, is os old as it con be naturally between 

1. For details vide Shah-e Afghanistan Dar al-U!u,m. Deoband Men, p. 33, by 

S.M. Rizvi. 


two neighbouring countries. , Not only the two countries have had cul- 
tural links but are also very near each other linguistically. Persian, the 
lingua franca of Afghanistan, has ruled over India for nearly six hundred 
years and there is, therefore, hardly any Indian language which may 
not have more or less words of Persian in it. 

In 1283/1866 when the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, came into existence, 
Afghanistan was the only foreign country that welcomed the establish- 
ment of the Dar al-Ulum first of all and sent lis young men to it for edu- 
cation and training; it was a time when the present facilities for trans- 
port and travel were not available. The north-western railway of India 
which has been the greatest means of communication between India and 
Afghanistan had not been started then. While from this the proof of 
the extraordinary religious zeal and love of religious knowledge of the 
Afghan nation can be adduced, ihe popularity of the Dar al-Ulum from 
the very day of its inception is also indicated. From that time till 1947 
there has never passed a period in the history of the Dar al-Ulum when the 
educational activities of the students of Afghan nationality may not have 
been the cause of splendour in the Dar ai-Ulum; on the other hand, the 
doors of key posts in Afghanistan have always remained open for the 
graduates of the Dar al-Ulum. 

When Shaikh al-Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan (may his secret be 
sanctified!), in the second decade of the twentieth century, had prepared 
a plan of a provisional government of India, Kabul, the capital of Afgha- 
nistan, had been made its centre. Maulana Ubayd Allah Sindhi and 
Maulana Muhammad Mian Anbathvi alias Maulana Mansoor Ansari had 
been sent specifically for this purpose to Afghanistan. Both these gentle- 
men were active members of the Shaikh al-Hind's revolutionary move- 
ment; their efforts in Kabul in strengthening the sincere relations between 
the Dar al-Ulum and Afghanistan have had a historical value. In short, 
there have been between Afghanistan and India, particularly with Deo- 
band, different types of relations during every age. Accordingly, in 
1358/1939, these long-standing relations were particularly displayed on 
the occasion of the journey of Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, the pre- 
sent vice-chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum, to Afghanistan, some details of 
which have been given in the foregone. It was as a result of this jour- 
ney that the Bab al-Zahir was built in the campus of the Dar al-Ulum. 

To participate in the welcome-function, His Majesty and his entou- 
rage, accompanied by the vice-chancellor and Maulana Hifz al-Rahman, 
went up through the northern flight of steps of the lhata-e Maulsari and. 


passing through the office of the Risala Dar al-Ulum, came to the vice- 
chancellor's office. Thereafter His Majesty inspected the Record Office 
and having expressed his approval by saying "It's very fine", went to the 
library, where rare and scarce manuscripts, hand-written copies of the 
Holy Quran of different eras arid royal gifts of books from Saudi Arabia, 
Turkey, Egypt, Iran and the Nizam of the Deccan had been systemati- 
cally arranged. The books presented by the Afghan government had 
been displayed prominently. The latter included that copy of the transla- 
tion of the Holy Quran by Shaikh al-Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan and 
scholia by Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani which the Afghan govern- 
ment has officially got translated into Persian from Urdu under the super- 
vision of the former prime-minister, the late Sardar Muhammad Hashim 
Khan. The vice-chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum hod given the Urdu edi- 
tion as a present to the King of Afghanistan (in A. H. 1358) and the Per- 
sian translation had been initiated since then. An attractive card bearing 
an introduction to the book had been affixed to each volume. The king 
saw all these things with great pleasure and extreme attention. 

After inspecting the departments of the Dar al-Ulum and ihe library 
the king, passing through the eastern varandah of the Dar al-Hadith and 
seeing the educational office, came to the northern courtyard of the new 
hostel from where he had a look at the Bab al-Zahir and then went to 
the place of the function. 

A long and wide panda! (canopy) had been erected in the southern 
courtyard of the new hostel, just near the Bab al-Zahir. This magnifi- 
cent pandal which was producing a strange attractive vista of beauty, 
simplicity and grandeur, had been divided into different parts. On the 
right side of the dias were seats for the teachers, heads of the depart- 
ments, other functionaries of the Dar al-Ulum and the representatives of 
the press and the All-India Radio; on the left were seated His Majesty's 
entourage, local government officials and respectable guests. The front 
portion was again divided into two parts, one reserved for the students 
of the Dar al-Ulum and the other for the common people. The audience 
in this function comprised nearly twenty thousand people. 

In front of the dias eye-catching inscription of the slogans "Long 
live the Dar al-Ulum" and on the right and the left "Long live the God- 
given kingdom of Afghanistan" and "Long live the Republic of India" 
were hanging. 

Maulana Hifz al-Rahman, member of the Majlis-e Shura of the Dar 
al-Ulum, delivered the inaugural speech in which, thanking the royal 


guest on behalf of the Dar ol-Ulum for his visit, he threw light en the 
academic and gnostic position of the Dar ai-lllum. He said : — 

"Your auspicious majesty! Welcoming you sincerely on your visit wo 
offer thousands and thousands of the sentiments of our gratitude and obli- 
gation. By Allah's favour and bounty your auspicious visit adds a feaiher 
to our cap. 

"Your majesty! The place you are gracing at present is the centre 
of the true religion and the fulcrum of the true tack (maslak). This is not 
only a madrasah and a university but is also a pillar of the faith and 
religion, a foundation of "the path" (tariqat) and the law (shari'at), having 
within its laps the treasures of divine gnosis as well; and during this 
age of the rising market of materialism and atheism it is a beacon-light 
of rectitude and candour, a bright candle of the assembly of truth. 

"Your majesty! On this occasion of your visit you will see many 
old buildings and historical places and will be certainly glad to meet 
many high personages. But all these are manifestations of moterial and 
worldly progress, whereas this Dar al-Ulum enjoys a very high and lofty 
position in the Islamic world due to its spiritual and moral grandeur and 
it can be said without exaggeration that this institution is the sun o f 
guidance and instruction and the manifestation of the straight path and 

the steadfast religion 'Such is the grace of Allah which He 

giveth unto whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing' (V : 54). 

"Your majesty! Although this institution is devoid of worldly pomp 
and civilisationa! magnificence and grandeur, each and every particle of 
it is expressive of the brilliance of rectitude and candour and the res- 
pelendence of knowledge and gnosis; and the past and present history of 
this institution bears witness to the fact that the elders and the ulema of 
this place have always been the standard-bearers of knowledge and 
gnosis, and except the Holy Prophet's (Allah's peace and blessings be 
upon him!) good pattern no other thing has served as a mode! of action 
for these people". 

After this speech the vice-chancellor presented the address to the 
royal visitor. Then, amidst fervent shouts of Allah-o Akbar (Allah h 
Greatest !) the king stood up to speak. He spoke in Persian. Acknowled- 
ging the academic and gnostic services of the Dar al-Ulum and paying a 
tribute of praise to it, he expressed pleasure at the grand welcome accor- 
ded to him. The translation of his speech is as follows .— - 


"I am very glad that I got a chance to visit the Dar al-Ulum. This 
Dar al-Ulum is very famous in Afghanistan, particularly in the religious 
circles. The ulema of Afghanistan have always held the founders of the 
Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and its teachers in high esfeem and have 
always been appreciative and convinced of the superiority and high rank 
of their faith in knowledge and spiritually. The feme of the Oar al- 
Ulum in Afghanistan is not merely for this reason that it is a famous 
institution; it is rather in fact the result of those relations which have been 
maintained between the Afghan studen's and this Dar al-Ulum for a long 
time. Many Afghan ulema benefitted from this Dar al-Ulum and, return- 
ing to their native land, spread the light of knowledge and rendered 
service to the country. 

"I have been much impressed by your friendly and joyous welcome 
which I have observed on coming here and I thank you for this from 
the bottom of my heart; moreover, I also pray for the further success of 
this academic institution and all those persons who are connected with it". 


The system of "turban-wrapping" of the graduates of the Dar ah 
Ulum has been current in the Dar al-Ulum from the very beginning. In- 
cipiently such convocations used to be held at an interval of a few years 
in quick succession, as has already been mentioned in detail in the par- 
ticulars of the earlier years. Then after a long time, in A. H. 1328, a 
grand convocation was held which is still remembered bv those who 
witnessed it. But after A.H. 1358 no such grand convocation could be held 
till now. So the Maflis-e Shura resolved that in A. H. 1382, when the 
Dar al-Ulum would be completing one hundred years of its existence, a 
convocation be held on a grand scale. Accordingly. it had 
been announced in the newspapers. S : nce a large number of students 
had completed their education in the Dar al-Ulum during this intervening 
period, a temporary department under the name "Nazm-e Jalset-e 
Muiawwaza-e Dastar-bandi" ("Organisation For the Proposed Convoca- 
tion" ) was established for this work, but due to unfavourable circums- 
tances this idea could not be put into practice. Hence, renaming this 
department as "Tanzim-e Fuza!a-e Dar al-Ulum" in A. H. 1378, it was 
considered proper to organise the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum before 
the convocation. 

The organisation of the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum was also a 
long-standing wish of the elders of the Dar al-Ulum; they had been long- 



ing for a long time lhat the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum should be 
linked in a formal relation so that it might put the Dar al-Ulum au fait 
of iheir spheres of activity and services and, reciprocally, they remain 
aware of the needs of the Dar al-Ulum. Firstly ihe aims and objectives 
of the organisation of the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum were published 
through newspapers and brochures and when it was known that they too 
considered it necessary Gnd assured of offering their services in this re- 
gard, a programme was chalked out and implemented; and lists of such 
graduates were prepared and sent to each district. Consequently, the 
graduates living in different states and districts, in accordance with the 
instructions of the centre, convened meetings in their respective districts 
and gave proof of their co-operation. But it is a pity that at many 
p?aces due either to the apathy or lack of information of the said gra- 
duates the work of organising could not proceed adequately and has 
remained unaccomplished todate. It is however hoped that this func- 
tion would be held after completing the initial stages. 


On 6th Muharram, A.H, 1379, the vice-chancellor (Maulana Qari 
Muhammad Tayyib) embarked on a journey to Reunion (East Africaj at 
the invitation of the sympathisers of the Dar al-Ulum there, viz., ha ji 
Ahmed Patel end Muhammad Patel. During this journey he happened 
to visit Zanzibar, Dares Salarn, Mauritius, Madagascar, and different 
towns of Reunion. The inhabitants of these places welcomed the res- 
pected vice-chancellor reverentially and held functions in his honour. 
During this itineration, the vice-chancellor particularly made a move 
ihar the Muslims of these places who might be backward as regards reli- 
gion send their children to the Dar al-Ulum for education so that adorned 
with religious education they, on their return, become the means 
of transmitting Islamic teachings to the masses of their respec- 
tive places end, besides this, establish schools for primary education. The 
Dar al-Ulum received sufficient material benefit also from this journey: 
nearly a quarter and a lakh of rupees were given by the kindly people 
without any demand or appeal. 


The Da'irat ai-Ma'arif-e Usmcnia is a famous publishing house of 
Hyderabad; it is reckoned amongst the important institutions of not only 
India but also of the Islamic v/orld. During its life it has accomplished 
the very great exploit of printing and publishing academic rarities and 
MSS. and Having borne hsavy expenses has published with great care 
books of various Islamic orts ana sciences which are held in high esteem 


and highly appreciated in the academic circles in and outside India. 

The Da'irat al-Ma'arif had arranged to celebrate its silver jubilee in 
January, I960, on a large scale, inviting scholars and luminaries from 
Asia and all western countries. Representatives of the Dor ai-Uiurn Soo 
had been invited to attend if. As such, Maulana Muhammad Salim, a 
teacher in the Dar a!-Ulum, and this writer (Sayyid Mahboob Rizvi) were 
sent as delegates of the Dar al-Ulum to Hyderabad, The vice-chan- 
cellor's message and an academic article also were presented in the 
gathering of the jubilee on behalf of the Dar al-Ulurn,- moreover, rare 
MSS. of the Dar al-Ulum too were presen ed on this occasion for exhibition. 
By this academic participation of the Dar al-Ulum deep relations deve- 
loped between these two great academic institutions of India. During this 
stay of the delegates of the Dar al-Ulum at Hyderabad, the governor of 
Andhra Pradesh, Bhim Sen Sachchar, invited them to tea at his official 
residence; this was indeed an indirect acknowledgement of the greatness 
and central position of the Dar al-Ulum. 


In January, I960, the president of ihe republic of Egypt, the late 
Gamal Abdel Nasir was to pay a visit to India. By chance the vice- 
chancellor was in Cairo at that time and so he extended an invitation to 
the president to condescend to visit the Dar al-Ulum. When President 
Nasir came to India, it was the first week of the month of Shawwal which 
is usually the period of the annual vacation in the Dar al-Ulum. So the 
vice-chancellor, considering if unbeseeming for President Nasir's dignity 
to visit the Dar al-Ulum during the vacation, thought it apt to go to Delhi 
himself and call upon the president. So, giving the excuse of the 1 annual 
vacation in the Dar al-Uli,=m on this occasion and expressing regret pro- 
fusely over not being able to meet him at Deoband, the vice-chancellor, 
as a compensation thereof, presented the copies of Fayz al-Bsri, Fath 
a(-Mu!him and Sawarth-e Qasimi as academic presents. President Nasir 
stood up to receive this present respectfully and thanked the Dar al- 
Ulum for it in lofty words. In response to this, President Nasir, after 
reaching Cairo, sent a, very lovely and beautiful copy of the Holy Quran 
for the Dar al-Ulum. This beautiful copy is being kept in a beautiful 
wooden frame. A remarkable quality of this frame is that when you 
look at it it appears like a bound volume, but when it is opened it 
becomes a book-stand. 


Several gentlemen belonging to the Dar al-Ulum went for haj| this 


year to the House of Allah and to pay a visit to the Prophet's holy tomb. 
Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, the teacher of teachers Allamah 
Mauiana Muhammad Ibrahim, .Maulana Mai'raj al-Haq, Maulana Abd 
al-Ahad, Maulavi Mahmud Ahmed Gul, Maulana Ahmed Reza, Maulavi 
Zahid Hasan and Haji Allah Rokkha, an employee in the construction 
department, went for hajj. 


The teaching of Tibb (the Unan'i System of Medicine) had started in 
A.H. 1301 In the Dar al-Ulum. First Maulana Hakim Muhammad Hasan, 
younger brother of Shaikh al-Hind had been appointed in this depart- 
ment. Besides teaching Fiqh and Hadith and treating the sick students 
of ihe Dar al-Ulum, he also used to teach the science and art of Tibb. 
!n A.H. 1329 this department was given the status of a separate de- 
partment and, like the Dar al-Ulum, it too went on progressing from year 
to year; but so far there was no separate building for it. In A.H. 1375 
a reasonable sum was presented from an endowment (waqf) of Kama! 
to the Jamia-e Tibbia with the stipulation that tho hospital of the Dar 
al-U!um be named "Azmatiya Shifakhana" after the name of the late 
Nawab Azmat Ali Khan. At the same time a separate committee (con- 
sisting of respectable and influential hakims cf the country) was formed 
for the Jamia-e Tibbia and the government was requested to give re- 
cognition to its degree like that of other Tibbia colleges in the country 
and authorise the successful graduates of this Jamia to practise. The 
government has been good enough to comply with this request and in 
the Jamia academic and practical education of the art of Tibb is being 
given through a 4-year degree course. Now there are several medical 
teachers for teaching medicine and for treating the sick students of the 
Dar al-Ulum. In the north of the Dar al-Ulum a spacious and magnificent 
building of the Jamia-e Tibbia has been completed in which, besides 
auditoriums, there is also arrangement for in-door patients. Moreover, 
treatment has not been kept confined to the students only; any sick 
person, irrespective of creed and community, is given treatment. Two 
halls of the hospital have already been built and some more construc- 
tions are under consideration. 


Dr. P. Hardey, lecturer in the History of Muslim India, School of 
Oriental and African Studies, University of London, came to Deoband in 
connection with historical research. He stayed at the Dar al-Ulum for 
nearly a week and had a long, talk with the vice-chancellor on the topic 


of the background and objectives of the Dar al-Ulum. This impression 
of Dr. Hardey deserves to be mentioned that "the truth is that the Islam 
I used to read about in books and which the Prophet of Islam had pre- 
sented in its early period, that very Islam i found present at Deoband 
and in the ulema of Deoband". 

The impression that Dr. Hardey has left in black and white is as 
follows :— 

"It was with the expectation of finding much valuable material on 
Islam in India that I wished to visit Darul Ulum Deoband. Not only 
was that expectation completely fulfilled but moreover I was over- 
whelmed with kindness, hospitality and invaluable guidance by the 
learned Ulama of the institution, notably by Hazrat Moulana Muham- 
mad Tayyib Sohib. I shall not only take away the best remembrance 
of my all-too-brief stay here but also shall try that I may be permitted 
one day to return here". 

Accordingly, on the occasion of the vice-chancellor's journey to England, 
Prof. Hardey told him that he was going to Germany for some govern- 
ment work otherwise he would have passed some time with him (the vice- 


This year there was a great rush of visitors. The most eminent per- 
sonality amongst them was that of Prof. Humayun Kabir, Minister of 
Culture & Scientific Research in the central cabinet. He came in the month 
of Jamadi al-Ula, A.H. 1381. in the welcome-function Prof. Kabir. pay- 
ing a tribute to the Dar al-Ulum for Hs religious and national services, 
said :— 

"Besides the religious and academic services of the eiders of the Dar 
al-Ulum, the services they have rendered in connection with the freedom 
of the native land and communal harmony are very bright and incontro- 
vertible. The history of Deoband is a very important history. This Dar 
al-Ulum of yours is the first institution of its kind in Asia. 

"it is the Dar al-Ulum which has first of all provided free education 
in India. More amazing and gladdening than it is the fact that you, along 
with free education, also arrange for the board and clothes of the students 
free of charge! It is not an ordinary thing to make arrangements for 
the food of eight to nine hundred students; and one feels still more glad 


when it is pondered ihat you meet the annual expenses of lakhs of rupees 
with ihe donations and financial aids of ihe Muslims only. The work of 
donaiions is in t : a>:t a very useful work for you. For this you have to go 
lo the Muslims, work among ihem and maintain the masses' connection 
wiih the Dar ai-Ulum. Thus you keep reminding the Muslims of their res- 
ponsibilities. On the other hand, if creates in them the sense of self- 
reliance and responsibility that it is they who have to run and maintain 
the Dar al-Ulum; this consciousness engenders awakening in them. 

"Students not only nam inaia bui also trc-m Asia and Africa una, 
more than ihat, even trom tar orr places, come so study at your institution. 
Thus your influence spreuas intougnoot me world and you become a centre 
of international activity. The Dar al-Ulum is an Islamic institution. A 
responsitiiiiiy on benair of tsiam devolves on you; as also on behalf or 
Inaia. Knowledge is a great power. Knowledge is i espectea everywhere 
in ihe world. Reliance on God hcii been emphasised in me address 
and ihe fact is that there can be no greater reliance than this. I am 
glad that this Dar ai-Ulum of yours is progressing day by day. The first 
message Islam gave to the world is the message of knowledge. The first 
ever revelation thai came to ihe Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and bless- 
ings be on him!) begins with the word "Iqra", which means "Read". 
This was the earliest message of Islam, When Islam appeared on the 
world-scene, knowledge was present in India, Greece, Egypt, etc. but it 
was being kept confined io certain people only; the common men were 
denied the privilege of acquiring knowledge. There was a monoply 
over knowledge everywhere. In Egypt, except particular persons, no 
other class of society could ^acquire education. It was ihe same story in 
Greece also. There was talk of education in india but here loo it was 
restricted to the Brahmins and a few high caste people only; the Shudras 
were not allowed to acquire knowledge; sometimes very severe tyrannies 
were inflicted on this down-trodden class of society for the fault of ac- 
quiring education. If was islam alone which universalized knowledge 
and drew the attention of everyone to its acquiiement. The Prophet of 
Islam acquainted the whole world with knowledge by saying : ;"lt is 
necessary for every man and every woman to acquire knowledge". This 
principle of Islam has now been adopted by the whole world. To 
America, which has become the centre of knowledge today, knowledge 
has reached through Europe and Europe has been introduced to knowledge 
by Islam only; hence the whole world ought to be grateful to Islam. In 
Islam there is no distinction between religion and the world; in both the 
religion and the world Islam wants mankind's welfare. The Prophet of 
bia'm has trisfrucfed that the Muslims should acquire knowledge even if 


they have to go to China for this. The meaning of going to China 'is not 
th.s that in those days there was more knowledge in China; rather, China 
in those days was considered the last limit of the world. So the meaning 
of this commandment was that the, Muslims should acquire knowledge as 
far as possible even if in doing so they might be required to go to the 
last end of the world. 

"As long as the Muslims ac'ed upon this instruction, they continued 
to advance further and further.' When you make any effort to impart 
knowledge, you in fact comply with the Holy Prophet's (Allah's peace and 
blessmgs be on him!) order, and since you do this sitting in India, you 
make India raise its head with pride and' at the same time you render a 
service to India. 

"I am glad to know that the medium of instruction at your institu- 
tion is Urdu. The students who come to you, whether their tongue i s 
Burmese or Bengali, whether they talk in Persian or Indonesian, whether 
their mother-tongue is English or any other language, you teach them 
through Urdu. Thus you have made Urdu an international language. 3 

1. The result was that (he greatest names and figures in medicine, medical «*- 
ctice, optpcs. astronomy, geography, mathematics, chemistry, bioiogv pkvsics 
literature, poetry, etc.. were those of Muslims: and the exfierijn.™ method 
which re the greatest tool and pride of the modern mind was conveyed by Rognr 
Bacon from the Muslim Spain to the modern Europe. 

n -r Wa „■ , ' (Translator) 

2- The circes engaged m developing and propagating Urdu have so far not 
chanced to have a look at what great benefit Urdtt has achieved by beffiq th 9 
medium of instruction at the Dar al-Ulum; however, its results and oonsequen 
ces cannot be denied. Since the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is a central educa- 
tional institution of the Muslims in the Islamic world, students fiock to it no! 
only from the different states of India but also from varices foreign cou 
for acquiring education which is imparted through the medium of r 
During the course of their stay here they learn Urdu sufficiently well and thus 
become the means of disseminating it on their return to their native lands 
Accordingly a gentleman who had travelled through various countries had coma 
to the Dar al-Ulum and he used to say : "When I reached Bukhara, which is 
a famous place in Central Asia. I met there such people who, considering me 
to be an Indian, sympathetically talked with me in Urdu, i was very much sur- 
prised as to how they, being so far away from India, could have learnt such 
chaste Urdu. On my enquiry they Sold me that it is the educational bounty 
of the Dar al-Ulum. Dsoband. and not only they but the whole academic circle 
there generally speaks and understands Urdu. 

Inspite of my being a Hindu they, with great affability and love, accommo- 
dated me as their guest and threw a grand party in mv honour, a peculiarity 
of which I will never forget was that in that party whoever delivered a speech, 
spoke in Urdu or.iy for my sake". 
A similar incident happened with ojr ate prime-minister. Pandit Jawaharlai 


'I have been much impressed by your method of teaching and your 
simple lifestyle. You are doing a very greai work at a very small ex- 
pense. The great service the Dar al-Ulum has rendered to knowledge is 
valuable not only to the Muslims but also to the whole world. The ap- 
preciable sentiments of simplicity, sincerity, selflessness and sacrifice with 
which you are serving Islam are worthy to be conformed to by all. It 
pleased me very much that today, in contrast to all the universities of 
the world which ore spending millions of rupees on education, you are 
doing the same work, a great and valuable service, at so meagre an 
expense. The fact is that a university is not the name of a building; it is 
formed by the teachers and the taught and| they alone are in reality the 
moving spirit of a university; otherwise the university is a mere frame; 
teaching and learning are its real essence. 

"You have decided that you will not take any aid from the govern- 
ment for the Dar al-Ulum and will run this institution with public dona- 
tions only. There is no doubt about it that it casts a good effect upon 
the masses and their sense of responsibility increases. But there is ano- 
ther aspect to it also: that you cannot take any step against the will of 
the masses however much useful and necessary it may be from the edu- 
cational point of view. 1 Governments try to preserve soulless relics and 
spend millions on them. This Dar al-Ulum of yours is a live ancient relic; 
if the government spends money on it, it will be surely worthwhile. 

"Scientific inventions have produced many facilities: journeys of days 
and weeks are covered within minutes and hours, Three things are basi- 
cally necessary for science : letters, arithmatic and paper. All these three 
things are of Asiatic origin. As regards letters (script) the historians' de- 

Nehru, on the occasion of his visit to Russia. Trie address presented to him 
at the aerodrome by the citizens of Tashkent was written in Urdu and was 
read out to him by an Uzbek. Pandit Nehru was surprised and he. also replied 
the address in Urdu which, as the newspapers reported, the audience under- 
stood, clapping several times during the course of the reply. (Al-Jami'at. 
daily, June 18. 1955). 

An interesting thing in this connection is thai the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum 
in South Africa whose native tongue is either English, Gujarati or Afrikaan 
usually correspond in Urdu only. 

An Urdu weekly "Observer" is published frorrt Nairobi, the capital of Kenya in 
East Africa and several dailies, weeklies and monthlies in Urdue are published 
in Rangoon (Burma). In line, the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, having thus extended 
the circle of Urdu through its graduates to almost all the countries of Asia and 
Africa, has accomplished the important work of making this language of India 
an international language. (S.M, Rizvi). 
1. It Is worth pondering here that it is the class of ulema itself which shows 
useful and harmful things to the masses and not the other way round; the 
masses learn from the ulema and do not teach them. 


cision is lhat the Phoenicians invented them; they were an Asian people. 
Paper was invented in China and arithmatic in India. The Arabs learnt 
arithmatic from here and developed it. The inventors of Algebra were 
Arabs themselves. Had these things been not present basically, the present 
progress of science would have been impossible. 

"If science and religion be iwo things for the followers of any reli- 
gion, let it be so; for Islam they are not Iwo things. The followers of 
other religions could not adopt science till they renounced their religions; 
whereas the more regular and aware a Muslim is the nearer he comes 
to science. But now in Europe too they have begun talking about giving 
up the thought of considering science to be an opponent of religion. 
Great and distinguished writers are now writing books on this topic; they 
declare truth to be the basis of both science and religion. 1 

"There is no antagonism between islam and science. The Muslims have 
disseminated knowledge in the world formerly also, and it appears from 
history that as long as they did not make any distindness between know- 
ledge and religion, they progressed steadily. Hence the Dar al-Ulum 
should try to help bring religion and science near each other. You have 
to accomplish, this task now — to make a short work of the quarrel bet- 
ween science and religion in the world. In this connection your Dar al- 
Ulum can take a great step and thus can serve not only India but also 
the entire world. The way you have blazoned of giving free educa- 
tion to ihe masses in the history of India, the history of India cannot for- 
get it". 

As regards the participation of the Dar al-Ulum in ihe fight for the 
independence of India, Prof. Humayun Kabir said :— 

"The divines and graduates of this institution always remained in 
the forefront of the fight for freedom. It is a hard fact that communalism 
has always been opposed by this institution. Even as this Dar al-Ulum 
has remained above communalism formerly, it will remain so in the fuiure 
also. It is very much regrettable that it is being slandered. The 
Jami'at-e Ulama-e Hind has rendered great services, for the independence 
of the country. Today some people, being victims of narrow-mindedness, 
are disparaging this patriotic party. This party has had a bright history 
which cannot be belied. The epidemic of communalism is common in 
India, yet the Dar al-Ulum has not allowed even its air to come near it. 
It is my belief that this university will always keep imparting humanism, 
nobleness, virtue and love to the world along with the lesson of nationa- 

1. This is due to Islam itself. (S.M. Rizvi). 


lisrn whereby we will succeed in forging a fraternity in which all may live 

unitedly". 1 


The Egyptian government has prepared records of the Holy Quran. 
The orthoepy (qir'at) is by Shaikh Mchmud al-Husri, who is a far-famed 
orthoepisf of Egypi. The whole Quran has been covered in 44 records. 
A whole set has been presented to the Dar □i-Ulum by the Egyptian go- 
vernment. The present writer had had fhe honour of bringing thes.e re- 
cords for the Dor al-Ulum from Delhi. 


This is that year in the history of the Dar al-Ulum in which it had 
completed one hundred years of its life. During this long rotation of days 
and nights each step of the Dar al-Ulum, by Allah's grace,., has advanced 
forward. What the vice-chancellor has written in the report for this year, 
comparing ihe conditions obtaining a hundred years ago, is reproduced 
in his own words below :— 

"Praise be to Allah that the Dar al-Uium has completed one hundred 
years- of its life. The same school (maktab) the foundation of which had 
been laid in Muharram, A.H. 1283 at the pious hands of Hujjat cit-lslam 
Majlana Muhammad Qasim Nanau'cvi and his compeers has developed, 
after a period of one hundred years, into a magniftcent international edu- 
cational and training institution, which is not only an educational institu- 
tion from where students merely take a degree (sanad) but is also a resi- 
dential university, imparting civil mores end giving training in corporate 
Islamic life. If a graduate of the Dar al-Ulum possesses on the one hand 
expertise in the religious sciences, on the other he also mirrors the Islamic 
etiquette and the Islamic way of life. You may go to any corner of the 
world you will find a man trained in the Dar al-Ulum distinct and con- 
spicuous in his position. 

"At all events, in the period of one century, if the Dar al-Ulum, on 
the one hand produced thousands of scholars and experts of the Islamic 
teachings, on the other it also produced preachers, commentators of the 
Quran, qazis, muftis, politicians and representatives of the Islamic UfA 
from whom millions of Muslims in the world are receiving spiritual, secu- 
lar and religious guidance. 

1. For details vide "Prof. Humayun Kabir Dar af-Ulum Deoband Men" bv S.M. 
Rizvi, printed by Koh-e Noor Press. Delhi, 1961. 


"Inl ihis period of one hundred years the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has 
made all sorts of progress. If the number of students in A.H. 1283 was 
78, of teachers 6 and the annual income was only Rs. 649/-, in A.H. 
1382, its hundredth year, the number of students went upro 1485, of 
teachers to 49 and the annual income became Rs. 6,87,226/-. Its adminis- 
trative slaff had begun with one manager only and today, praisa be to 
Allah! it has on its role as, many as two hundred employees; which is a 
manifest sign of the popularity of this institution in the sight of Allah 
and of the good intention, sincerity and selflessness of its founders. On 
Ihis success the members of the Shura, co-operators, donors, teachers, 
students and all the employees deserve to be congratulated for it as a 
result of their mutual co-operalion, joint action and selfless services that 
this seminary has attained to such a magnificent status. 

"We pray in the divine court for the elevation of ranks in the 
Hereafter of all those gentlemen who have gone to glory during these 
one hundred years. May Allah Most High grant them all great rewards! 
We also pray that Allah Most Glorious fill the graves of the pious founders 

of this institution, former teachers, functionaries and helpers with light, 
awarding them high ranks in the Hereafter and bestow upon the 
present gentlemen the grace to serve religion and this institution more 
and more and favour them with His pleasure and good reward! 

"Muharram, A.H. 1383 was an auspicious and bSessed month for ihe 
Dar al-U!um, Deoband. It wot necessary that the centenary of ihe Dar 
al-Ulum should have been celebrated in this monrh and a great gather- 
ing should have been arranged. Holding gatherings and functions in the 
Dar al-Ulum and its affiliated madrasahs, light should have been thrown 
on the establishment and services of this great institution, as though this 
centennial gathering would have been in fact the expression of the 
religious services of thousands of ulema and scholars and the achieve- 
ments of th& pious of the ummah; in other words, it would have been a 
centennial gathering of knowledge and learning. At such a time the 
swelling of the sentiments of collective happiness was but a natural phe- 
nomenon. Accordingly, this sentiment first of all surged in the heart of 
this worthless creature the lowliest Muhammad Tayyib, the vice-chancellor 
of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and then the seme sentiment was express- 
ed in writing as well as in speech from different circles in the campus of 
the Dar al-Ulum, the respectable teachers, clerks of the offices, executive 
staff and the dear students that 

'for the expressing of joy and jubilation on this auspicious occasion a 
form befitting the dignity of the ceremony be adopted'. 


"It is obvious that the Dar al-Ulum is not a formal institution; on the 
contrary, it is a realily above formalities, an institution patronising 
realities. Hence the expression of rejoicing for it could not adopt the form 
of foliated and floriated festoonery or illumination or the common custo- 
mary demonstrations. And the general seniimenls too were these that on 
the occasion of this auspicious ceremony a general gathering be held in 
the Dar al-Ulum in which the circumstances of the founding of the Dar 
al-Ulum, the background of its establishment, is objectives, the conduct and 
character of. its founders and its future programme be discussed, and the 
distinctive features of the Dar al-Ulum be refreshed in the hearts, for only 
this form of demonstrating joy could beseen the Dar al-Ulum. But the 
world of fate and chance is quite different. Hazrat Ali's (Allah's mercy be 
on him : !> saying is: 'I recognised my Lord through the breaking up of my 
intentions'. It so happened that exactly the same dates were fixed and 
published for the meeting of the Jami'at-e Ulama-e Hind at Meerut. Thus 
the great gathering of the centennial ceremony of the Dar al-Ulum during 
the samel days would have clashed with the said meeting which, in view 
of the collective good of the community, was in no way proper. Hence, 
considering it proper to postpone the gathering at the time of such clash, 
the idea of gathering on the said dates was given up and it was thought 
sufficient to declare a vacation instead, leaving the plan of gathering to 
be fulfilled at some other suitable dates. 

"On tha other hand this humble vice-chancellor was almost ready to 
embark on his journey to South Africa which was to take nearly three 
and a half months. Thus the appearance of the interpretation of the 
dream was inordinately delayed. If it please Allah Most High, this occa- 
sion is to come soon." 


A stock of 100,000 books is present in the library. Though the num- 
ber of text-books is greater, non-textual books are almost half in number, 
which include both published and unpublished works, and the number 
of MSS. is also quite sufficient. 

The work of arranging the library and of preparing a catalogue had 
been first : assigned to ihe present writer in A.H. 1355 and since then the 
same catalogue had been in use for quite a long time. But after a quarter 
century, in A.H. 1382, there arose need of further arrangement as during 
this course of time thousands of books had been added. The Majlis-e 
Shura, therefore, selected Maulana Zaheer a!-Din for this onerous task. 
With much sweating and poring his eyes out, he has accomplished this 


work of cataloguing. This additional improvement made this time is the 
introduction of the card-system. According to the modern system of 
library-work, cards have been prepared and arranged in alphabetical 
order, whereby the finding out of a book has been much facilitated. 
Besides the introduction of this system, a descriptive catalogue of the 
MSS. has also been prepared two volumes of which have already been 

A detailed introduction of the library will be presented later under 
the heading "Library" at its proper place. 


Amongst the events of this year an important one is the occurence 
of the death of Mujahid-e Millat (the Crusader of the Community) 
Maulana Hifz al-Rahman. The Mauiana was not only a distinguished and 
remarkable personality in the academic circles of the Dar al-Uium but he 
had also acquired a high political position in the country. For a long time 
he had worked as director-general of the Jcrmi'at-e Ulama-e Hind. His 
career had begun with teachersh'rp in the Dar al-Ulum and in the end he 
had been chosen for the membership of the Majlis-e Shura. The major 
part of his life had passed in the service of the Dar al-Ulum. Hence the 
members of the Ma^jlis-e Shura have acknowledged his services in the 
following words :— 

"This meeting of the Majlis-e Shura expresses its deep shock and 
heart-felt grief and sorrow at the sad demise of the Mujahid-e Milkit 
Maulana Hifz al-Rahman and considers the passing away from the midst 
of the community of such a peerless personality a great national acci- 
dent and an irreparable lacuna. The deceased was not only an excellent 
divine, an accomplished writer and a matchless orator but was also a 
crusader of the community in the real sense of the term. His crusader-like 
acts of intrepidity in the political and national history of the country 
deserve to be written in letters of gold. He was not only a pre-eminent 
leader of the country but was also a leader and academical and politi- 
cal guide to ihe Muslims. His precious self, by virtue of his versatility 
and popularity, was, irrespective of caste and religion, a catholic perso- 
nality in the whole of India. His supporters as well as opponents, all 
acknowledged the superiority of his perspicacity, judiciousness, pragma- 
tism, stead-fastness and preseverance. The fact is that the great and 
glorious services he rendered to the country, particularly the Muslims, 
during the tumultuous and turbulent iimes of 1947 so devotedly and with 
such abandon of his own safety were indeed of a nature he alone could 


335a !Tr?: he Mai,is - e shura ° nd * he e — - a**-*. * fKe 

Dar al.UI.rn had been receiving greet help and strength from his Id 

z:7:: nd r sman,ike ma,urity - h * had ^ ■« <— :i 

counrv Th i ""forgettable for the wnole nation and 

caun.ry The group, of the Dar al-Ulum is sod end morose at this eternal 
separation of its illustrious son". 


One aspect of the impressions Shaikh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda a 
professor of Jamia-e Helab (Religious University of Aleppo, Syria has 
expressed after seeing the Dar a ,. Ulum is of great imp L Acceding to 
K.m, such acaaemic discussions are found in the books written by he 
ulema of the Dar that are not to be found in the works of the 
T7 U u Sma ' pr ° feSSi0nai commentators of the Quran, tradiiionists and 
thinkers; but since these rare and excellent books have been written in 
the Urdu language, the Arabian countries are deprived of advantage from 
them, ana therefore it is necessary that they be translated info Arabic 
so as to provide opportunities of benefitting for the Arabic-speaking 
peoples also on a large scale. The translation of Shaikh Abu Ghudda's 
impressions is as follows;— 

"If is Allah's very great favour and bounty upon this weak nnd 
humble writer thai He vouchsafed this opportunity to visit and tour the 
cities of India amongst which Deoband with its religious institution the 
Dar al-Ulum, tops the list; the Dar al-Ulurn which is indeed a live heart 
full of knowledge and piety in India, the centre of scholars and the haven 
of the students of religion and gnosis. A visit to this centre w« one of 
the dreams of my days and nights and one of the longings of a lifetime. 
Thanks to Allah that today I received the felicity of seeing the Dar al- 
Ulum and an old dream was realised! 

"On seeing it from near I found it much better and finer tblin what- 
ever mental sketch and image I had formed of the Dar al-Ulum- on 
hearing reports about it while living far away. Lights of knowledge 
emanate from each and every corner of this sacred institution. The Holy 
Prophet's (Allah's peace and blessings be on him!) hadiths are taught in 
its auditoriums and for the thirsty ones of knowledge and the seekers of 
guidance and instruction, along with ideal discipline, careful observation 
of the rules of etiquette and enlightenment, the commands of faith and 
religion are described in a style which glistens conspicuously with the 
spiritualists' spirituality and the effects and graces of men of learning 
and research. 


"This is Allah's utmost favour and obligation that I received the 
honour of hearing a part of a lesson of Hadith. from the great Mauiana, 
who is a blessing to the ummah with his pure breaths, my chief al- 
Shaikh al-Muhaddith al-Sayyid Fakhr al-Din Ahmed al-Moradabadi. His 
lauded self, at the request of his affectionate students and as a concession 
to this lowliest writer, spoke in Arabic on the hadith of Bani Salmah in 
which it is reported that the Bani Salmah entertained a desire to leave 
their houses and shift to the vicinity of the Prophet's Mosque. When the 
Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him!) came to know 
of this intention of theirs, he said : "Histories and remniscences of your 
town will be written". The learned professor's lecture was a cluster of 
costly pearls and shining stars, and a proof of Fayz al-Bari and Umdat 
al-Qari. In the course of his lecture the learned professor was continuously 
favouring those students who were all ears with special instructions 
which permeated their selves even as fragrance permeats through air 
and water through life. I pray to Allah Most High that He bestow upon 
his learned self good reward on behalf of the Holy Sunnah and its con- 
formists and keep this institution pullulating and fructifying under the 
shadow of pillars and columns, imams and eiders — ihe full moons of 
guidance and the bright candles for darkness — like the beneficent 
Shaikh, the head ieacher, Mauiana Aliamah Ibrahim al-Bailiavi and 
Maufana Al-Qari Muhammad Tayyib; and bestow prosperity on the be- 
neficial time and holy breaths of these august men! 

"The authorities did me a further favour and obligation that they 
accommodated this lowliest of men as their special guest wherefore it 
became convenient for me to avail of the chance of benefitting from the 
learned utema.. "So all praise is for Allah only". Moreover, ihat thing for 
which we are today indebted to Allah's favour and are under His obli- 
gation is this institution, which, along with its teachers and students, is 
a luxuriant umbrageous tree, the centre of knowledge and piety, and 
that life-sustaining lung of the Islamic body in which the signs of spiritual 
life are current. We pray to. Allah that He benefit the Muslims more and 
more from the continuance and progress of this institution and bestow 
long life on its ulema! Verily, Allah answers prayers and through His 
grace and magnanimity does not thwart the hope of those who cherish 

"Mentioning the glorious services of the great ulema of this magni- 
ficent institution, which is replete with 'the pillars' of knowledge and piety. 
I wish to make □ request, — rather, if I embolden myself a little 1 can 
assert that it is our reasonable privilege which I am demanding to be ful- 
filled, — and it is this that it is a duty of these eminent ulema that they, 


clothing the results of thought of their singular intellects and their valu- 
able graces and researches in the Arabic language, provide a chance of 
deriving benefit for other ulema of the Isiumic world also. This duty de- 
volves upon these gentlemen for the reason that when a man reads a book 
cf these research scholars of India, he finds therein, distinctive new ascer- 
tainments which depend upon, besides profound knowledge and exten- 
sive reading, on piety, rectitude and spiritualism. And since these eminent 
ulema and Shaikhs nof only fulfil the conditions like virtue, rectitude, spi- 
ritualism and engrossment in knowledge buf are also the right heirs and 
specimens of the pious predecessors, their books are not lacking in new 
and useful things. 'Such is the grace of Allah which He giveth unto 
whom He will' (V : 54). Rather, some of their books are such in which 
are found those things which are not available even in the works of the 
fireat ulema, professional commentators of 1he Quran, traditionists 
and thinkers of the past. But it has to be said with sorrow ond regret 
that most of these rare compilations, rather all of them, have been written 
in the Urdu language, which may be a common Islamic language of India 
but it is obvious that it does not have that honour that Arabic has for its 
wide usage and for being the special language of the Islamic sciences. 
Hence if these sciences and valuable disquisitions which are the special 
part and achievement of our Islamic brethren — the ulema of India, are 
kept confined in the frcme of Urdu only, then, remaining hidden and con- 
cealed from us the Arabic-speaking people, they will continue to be the 
cause of our deprivation, tt will thus be an injustice not only to us but 
will also cause a loss to ihe rights of knowledge and religion. So, to dis- 
charge this duty of gnosis and payment of the deposit of knowledge, it 
is among the foremost essentials that these excellent masterpieces and ex- 
quisite books be rendered into the Arabic language so that from these 
those eyes which are impatient, thirsty and eager for such things may 
derive light; and, as I think, this difficult duty and important responsibi- 
lity cc*n be discharged well by the individuals of this very public institu- 
tion, which is the cradle and fountain-head of distinguished ulema and 
noble students. 

"On this occasion when I am putting ihe words of gratitude into black 
and white for the affectionate behaviour and elderly favours of the au- 
thorities of the institution and the emotions of love ond brotherhood of the 
beloved students, I consider it necessary to dare repeat hopefully my afore- 
said right and demand. So, if these august men turned their attention 
to the discharging of this duty, while they would thus acquit themselves 
of their responsibility, it would also be a glorious service to religion and 
culture and a noteworthy achievement; because these sciences are not 
only the property of the Muslims — let alone the Indian Muslims who may 



have a monoply on them — but oil mankind also has had a right to be- 
nefit equally from these. Hence it is extremely necessary that these 
Urdu books be translated into Arabic so that they may get more and more 
currency and publicity and opportunities to benefit from them may be 
provided ort a large scale. 

"I have felt some satisfaction and pleasure on hearing that this pro- 
blem is already under the consideration of the Majlis-e Shura and it is 
going to take steps shortly to discharge this important burden and res- 
ponsibility which is in fact a necessary obligation of the ulema of this in- 
stitution, particularly of its students. After hearing this glad tiding I 
thank in anticipation most sincerely all the senior ulema for this auspicious 
ambition and undertaking of theirs; and also pray to Allah Most High 
that His special help and support be with them in this great work so that 
they may accomplish this obligation with ease. For Allah Most High it 
is not a difficult thing. 'That is not a hard thing for Allah' (XXXV j 17). 
Nor, in view of their firm determinations It is so hard and arduous a task 
for these great ulema that it may be insurmountable". 1 


During the year under review the respected vice-chancellor under- 
took ;wo journeys ; the first to South Africa and the second to Egypt. 
Both these journeys proved very profitable for the Dar al-Ulum in several 
respects. The journey to Soulh Africa was made in the end of Muharram. 
A representative gathering of Muslims consisting of nearly two thousand 
individuals from all the four provinces cf South Africa was present at .he 
Johannesburg airport to welcome him. The Dutch mayor of Johannes- 
burg, Mr. Ober Holes and his wife were also present on this occasion as 
also a large posse of white police. The vice-chancellor stayed in Johan- 
nesburg for 15 days. From 'here he went to Durban and thence to Cape 
Town. During his sojourn at Durban he happened to visit several places 
in its vicinage. Addressing c gatherir.^ a Ccpe Town the vice-chancellor 
said : "The Muslims should never be distracted by material power; the 
Muslims need to increase their spiritual power. They have forgotten to 
discharge their du'ies for which they have been created. We should keep 
inculcating virtue and abstain frcm evil works". 

The misunderstandings prevalent in South Africa regarding the Dar- 
at-Ulum, Deoband, and ils group were removed to a great extent by this 
Journey and lasting' impressions were made on the people. At that time 

1. Rudad, A.H. 1382, pp. 12-14. 


in Johannesburg an educational conference was being held at Wiiwaters 
Rand University in which educational experts from all over South Africa 
were participating. The vice-chancellor was also invited to this conference. 
The president of the conference, while thanking the vice-chancellor for his 
attendance, acknowledged the greatness of the Dar al-Ulum and its inter- 
national influences. The vice-chancellor, in his reply, said . "The apartheid 
of country, nation and race can separate us from each other but knowledge 
is ihe common wealth of all mankind and is a natural surety for the one- 
ness of humankind. So, colour and race and sentimental segregations 
notwithstanding, knowledge alone is the means that has brought us to- 

A great advantage derived from participation in the gatherings and 
conferences in South Africa was that the Dar al-Ulum was given an ex- 
tensive introduction. The news reporters of western languages who 
used to attend these gatherings and conferences used to include the par- 
ticulars of the Dar al-Ulum also in their repor'age. Thus the fame of the 
Dar al-Ulum spread not only in the vast continent of Africa but it also 
reached ihe various countries of Europe. Besides this, the western news- 
papermen attending these gatherings used to put to the vice-chancellor 
several questions on islam and by his replies supplying correct informa.ion 
regarding Islam many of the misunderstandings prevailing in the wes- 
tern world in respect of Islam and the Muslims were removed. 

From South Africa he went to Nairobi, to Egypt, to Palestine, to Hejaz 
and came back via Beirut after three months. 

The second journey was undertaken on 19th Shawwal, A.H. 1383 
(March 4, 1963) at the invitation of the world Mutamar-e Islami, Cairo. 
To this conference entitled Mtsjma'ul-buhuth-e Islamic had been invited 
distinguished ulema from all over the Islamic world. 70 select ulema 
from 38 countries participated in this; conference; the number of the Egy- 
ptian ulema was besides this. On the whole, 100 to 125 ulema partici- 
pated. The representatives of both India and Pakistan were all graduates 
of Deoband. Btsides the vice-chancellor. Maulana Sayyid Minnat Allah 
Rahman!, Amir-e Shari'at-e Bihar wa Orissa, and Maulona Sa'eed Ahmed 
Akbarabadi, head of the Dept. of Theology, Muslim University, Aligarh, 
represented India in the Mutamar. The purpose of the Mutamar was to 
investigate and ascertain, in the light of the Islamic Shari'ah, the problems 
resulting from the impact of the modern civilisation. These problems' had 
been divided into the following captions :— 

1. The arrangement of the distribution of finances in Islam. 


2. The physical causes for ihe world-wide penetration of the Arabs and 

3. The personal ownership of land and its signs in Islam. 

4. The special nature of the shore of the poor in the wealth of the rich. 

5. The organisation of "enjoining ihe right conduct" (Amr bil-ma'ruf) 
and "the forbidding of indecency" (nihi 'anil-munkair). 

6. The past and presen. 1 of Ijtehad (casuistry) in Islam, 

Though all the above-mentioned subjeos were discussed in the Muta- 
mar, the greatest emphosis was laid on the last caption which can be esti- 
mated from the fact that two-lhird of the whole time of the conference 
was spent in discussing this problem only. The considered opinion ex- 
pressed in the Mutamar was that as long as the door of ijtehad is not 
opened for the ulema, the- complex problems will not be solved, because 
the present situation has completely changed in the presence of modern 
discoveries and the former foo'-prints cannot decide it. 

The vice-chancellor who was the leader of the Indian delegation and 
Maulana Yusuf Binnori, the leader of the Pakistani delegation, presented 
their articles on this topic. The fundamental view-point in the vice-chan- 
cellor's article was that while in thought and view or the method of deri- 
vation commitment to principle and rules of this discipline is necessary for 
us, conformance to the predecessors is also necessary. Even living with- 
in the gamut of ijtehad we cannot go out of ihe circle of conformance to 
the pious predecessors; the Sunnah and the predecessors' pattern ought 
to be the last destination of our ijtehad. He said :— 

'The problems that are confronting the Muslims today are being con- 
sidered complex. In connection with them, instead of laying stress on 
providing ihe status of ijtehad for ourselves., it will be apter that the 
practical solutions of these problems be presented. Instead of delibera- 
ting over the powers of ijtehad for personalties the easier and shorter 
way is to ponder over the problems; it has rather been the practice in 
every century of Islam. New thoughts and views always keep cropping 
up due to new events and circumstances and the thinking ulema of every 
period, by virtue of their academic abilities and ideal powers, have been 
giving decisions in the light of the principle? erf Fiqh and the codified juris- 
prudential systems. Accordingly, in respect of the new events, the ulema 
of the ummah today also have not been remiss in the ascertainment of 
problems, Exclusive independent books entitled Hawadifh-e Fatawa and 
Aalct-e Jadidch ke Shara'i Ahkam have been published tn India which 
present decisive solutions on the modern problems. However, what is 


necessary is that such commandments should be publicised and determin- 
ed on a world-wide scale and instead of a local they should be presented 
in an international manner, and such new fetwas of whichever country 
they may be should be brought before the entire world of Islam. It is 
obvious as to who can perform this work better than the Majma'ul 
buhuth-e Islamiyah. 1/ can, through its world-wide influence, provide the 
stock of modern fetwas and can produce and present their translations in 
different languages, so that by the creating of universality and unifor- 
mity in thought uniformity may be produced in the actions of the ummah. 
The Mutamar can serve as a means a. c the unification of the ummah". 

The learned vice-chancellor also laid stress in his article on introduc- 
ing the present-day world to Islam and appealed to the Mutamar-e Islami 
to keep before itself the ideal of making islam the religion of the whole 
world and afso work in that direction. 

It has been said at the end of this article that some powers of ijtehad 
ore still present in our ulema today. Had ihese been not there, it would 
have been difficult for 'he muftis to issue fetwas and to take decisions 
after pondering over matters. But it is necessary in this connection to 
keep in mind that ijtehad must not be demanded for this that, impressed 
by the present-day western civilisation, we may first establish new views 
in support of it and then be anxious to bring them within the limits of legi- 
timacy (jawaz) by searching supporting evidence for them in the Quran 
and the Hadith. It is evident that it is not compliance with the Book and 
the Sunnah; it is rather the other way round — to make the Book and 
the Sunnah comply with us. It is a dangerous fallacy. While commit- 
ment to principle and rules is necessary in thought and view and in the 
method of derivation, complete conformance vvith the pious predecessors 
and that taste which we inherited from our ancestors are also necessary; 
otherwise that colour which the Holy Prophet (Allah's peoce and blessings 
be on him!) has given us under "wa yozakkihim" — "and shall make them 
grow" — cannot remain intact. For this reason, while still living within 
the sphere of ijtehad v/e naturally cannot trespass the conformance to the 
predecessors. Each and every sunnah and each and every pattern of the 
predecessors should be the last stage of our effort end ijtehad. 1 

An article oy Maulana Minnat Allah Rahmani, member of the Majlis-e 
Shura, Dar a!-Ulum, Deoband, was also presented in which, reviewinq the 
juridical problems with profound maturity of wisdom, attention has been 
drawn to an important reality and the difference between root and sec- 

1. For details vide Rudad-e Dar al-U'um and the Alami Nlutamar-e Islami Qahira 
No, of the "Dar al-Ulum" monthly, compiled by S. M. Rizvi. 


tions has bean clarified with great discernment of subtleties. It has been 
written in th» article :— 

"The worst consequence of giving too much importance to sectional pro- 
positions was that the attention of our ulema and muftis, withdrawn 
from the eternal fundamentals and universal principles of religion cen- 
tred upon branches and the real religion on which depends the human 
salvation became hidden,- small propositions took their place, causing 
unusual damage to the Islamic unily and shattering Islamic fraternity 
to pieces; and thereby the declarations "We seni hee not save as a 
mercy for the peoples" (XXI : 107) and "And We have not sent thee 
(O Muhammad) save as a bringer of good tidings ond a warner unto 
all mankind" (XXXIV : 28) were rendered meaningless. Hence it is 
necessary that too much severity in sectional propositions should be 
done away with and, in view of the proof of religion, every proposition 
should be given the place it deserves and the status it has; and the 
fundamental religion which the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace and bless- 
ings be on him !) had brought for the whole world till its end, and 
for every country and clime, should be presented before the entire 
•world. 1 

At the end of the Mutartiaiy the yice-chancsiicir end Maulana Rah- 
man! went from Cairo to the holy Hejaz for hajj. Befo.e performing the 
ha] j, they stayed for some time in Madina, where they were invited by the 
authorities of the Jamia-e Islamiayyah, Madina. (By a happy co-incidence 
the vice-chancellor's son, Maulana Muhammad Salim Qasimi, a teacher in 
the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and Maulana Muhammad Abd al-Haq, pro- 
vice-chancellor, were also present in Madina), The vice-chancellor, add- 

1. Safar-e Misr wa Hejaz by Maulana Minnat Allah Rahmani, p. 134, Label Press, 

2. On this occasion the Egyptian government had also arranged for a tour for the 
representatives. First they were sent by aeroplanes to the Aswan High Dam 
where thousands of labourers were working. Then they were sent by cars to 
other cities of Egypt, like Tanta. Suyut, etc. Tanta is a big industrial city. Its 
facories were shown to the delegates. 

The third leg of journey to Ghazza was covered by cars. Now is is in the 
possession of the Jews. The cars entered Ghazza after passing through the 
Sinai desert. The vice-chancellor has stated that when he was passing through 
Sinai the spectacle of Prophet Moses' and the Israelites' passage through this 
desert and their bewilderment and passing 40 years in the jungle passed 
before his eyes. Affected by this historical background he started writing a 
book which he finished on coming back to India. This voluminous book com- 
prises many legal (shara'i) realities and many a political revelation. It is a 
pity that this book could not be published so far. If published, It is believed, 
ft wtnjld be a precious addition to the academic stock. Its Arabic translation 
is he r rVo' pjblishid in instalments in the Ai-Da'i, a magazine of the Dar al-Ulum, 


ressing the teachers and students of the Jamia in the welcome-function 
thanked the authorities for the kind invitation and then acquainted the 
audience with the particulars of the Dar a!-Ulum and its lack (maslak) 
and then congratulated the authorities and the Saudi government on the 
valuable services the Jamia-e Islamiyyah, Madina, was rendering. 

On the whole, both these journeys of the vice-chancellor proved very 
fruitful. Through these journeys the sphere of introduction of the Dar al- 
Ulum was widened, besides the continent of Africa and the Middle East, 
in the western countries also; and since the representatives of the whole 
world of Islam were present in Cairo, it can be said that the Dar al-Ulum 
was introduced to the whole world. 

The respectable vice-chancellor came back to Deoband on 6th Mu- 
harram, A.H. 1384 (May 19, 1964}. The teachers, students, office staff and 
the citizens welcomed him warmly at the railway station. At the request 
of the students he gave a long speech in the welcome-function held in the 
Dar al-Hadith, describing his impressions of the journey to Egypt and Hejaz 
and detailing the accounts of the Mutcmar-e fslami, Cairo and Jamia-e 
Islamiyyah, Madina. 


The 36th meeting of the International Congress of Orientalists was 
held in the early dates of January, 1964, in which 11,00 orientalists par- 
ticipated, 500 from foreign countries and 600 from the different univer- 
sities and academic institutions of India. This was the first occasion for 
the meeting of this Congress to take place outside Europe — in Asia, and 
In Asia this pride v/as first of all achieved by the capital of India, New 
Delhi, In the incipient years of this Congress participation in its meetings 
was restricted to European orientalists only, but gradually its circle wide- 
ned and Asian countries also began to participate in them. 

The meeting of the Congress at New Delhi had been held in the mag- 
nificent building of the Vigyan Bhavan. The Congress had been divided 
into ten sections one of which v/as reserved for rare manuscripts. At 
the request of the institute of Islamic Studies, New Delhi, select MSS. of 
the Dar al-Ulum were presented on this occasion for the benefit of the 
orientalists who looked at them particularly with approval and took notes 
from several of them. Thus the Congress of Orientalists proved a spacious 
means of introduction of the Dar al-Ulum. The present writer had done 
the work -of introducing the MSS. of the Dar al-Ulum to the Congress. 



Monthlies like Al-Qasiin and Al-Rasheed have been in publication to 
keep the sympathisers of the Dar al-Uium in touch with the circumstances 
and particulars of the Dar al-Ulum, as also to enlarge and publish its 
policy (moslak). After the Al-Qasim ceased publication, another mon- 
thly, Dar al-Ulum, was started in A. H. 1360. But so far these journals 
were being published in Urdu, only. In the current year, with a view to 
widen the circle of the Dar al-Ulum stifl more, a quarterly journal, Da'wat 
al-Haq, was started. This journal, besides being read in the Arabic ma- 
drasahs of the country, is read with interest in Arab countries also, and 
besides publicising the policy of the Dar al-Ulum, has been a very strong 
means of forging good relations with the Arabic-speaking countries. 1 


In the last month of A.H. 1384 the Dar al-Ulum had to face a strin- 
gent crisis in foodgrains. The vice-chancellor drew the attention of the U. P. 
government to this grave situation. Hakim Muhammad llyas Kathori and 
the present writer were sent by the Dar al-Uium to Lucknow. This two- 
men delegation pointed out to ihe responsible officers of the govern- 
ment, particularly to the chief minister and the minister cf food, the 
difficullies the Dar al-Ulum was facing in providing the nece- 
ssary foodgrains, and if, God forbid, the Dar al-Ulum, due to these diffi- 
culties, failed to admit students in the beginning of the new academic year, 
it would affect the in'ernational reputation cf the Dor al-Ulum as also 
the dignity of the government adversely. The then chief minister, Mrs. 
Sucheta Kirplani, gave proof of her full co-operation by providing faci- 
lity in stocking the requisite quantify of grains, and which facility, praise 
be to Allah, still continues. 


Among all those different gentlemen who visited the Dar al-Ulum 
this year the most noteworthy personality is that of Mr. Vishwanath Das, 
the governor of UP., who came to the Dar al-Ulum on March 23, 1965. 
It will not be undue prolixity to reproduce here those profound and 
valuable feelings he expressed in the general function after having in- 
spected the Dar al-Ulum. He said :— 

1. Now for some time, instead of Da'wat al-Haq, a fortnightly, AS-Da'i, is being 


"The humility and self-effacement ihat knowledge creates in man — I 
am observing a very good example thereof in the Dar ai-Ulum. The 
labour and assiduity with which you are imparting educa.icn has 
very much impressed me. On this I congratulate you. Seeing the 
system of teaching in the Dar al-Ulum, ! am reminded of that ancient 
system of teaching in India in which the gurus (teachers^ used to bear 
the expenses of their students' boarding and lodging. But from the time 
worldly greed settled down in the Hindu society, thai old system of 
education came to an end. However, its importance is now being felt 
again. 1 have been much pleased on seeing the good adminis raiicn 
of the Dar a!-Uium, It is my wish that the Dar al-Ulum keeps pro- 
gressing continuously". 

Commenting upon the present sys em of education he said :— 

"In the system of education prevalent today there has remained no 
spiritual bond between the teacher and the student. This has drawn 
the teachers and the taught apart and every now and then students' 
riots occur. Knowledge and ignorance are two antithetical qualities; 
while knowledge elevates man, ignorance takes him down. You, 
lifting your students from the lowness of ignorance, are raising them 
to the height of knowledge and thus you are discharging an important 
duty of consummating humanity. The example of a teacher is like 
that of a potter who turns out utensils from the wet mould as per his 
desire; similarly, the life of the students is moulded in the mould of 
the teachers' instruction. I am also pleased to know that worldly 
pelf and lucre are not the idea! in your system of education". 

Appealing to the students, the governor said :— 

"Whatever you are learning from your teachers, I hope, you will try to 
put it into practice in your lives. 1 pray for your progress. I make 
a special request to the Dar al-Ulum to provide educational facilities 
to those students of foreign countries who are studying here; these 
students are the guests of our country; after completing their education 
here when these students go back to their respective native countries 
they will prove our ambassadors". 

Stressing the unity of the country, the governor said :— 

"Different communities live in most of the countries of the world; they 
speak different languages and their religions ore also different; even 
so they live in harmony and fraternity. We also should live like this 
in this country. 


"1 am grateful from the bottom of my heart to the vice-chancellor of the 
Dar al-Ulum, its teachers, students and staff for their sincere and warm 
welcome; moreover, my government is always ready to render any 
service to this great institution of the country which it may like". 

Sufficient light has been thrown in the speech the vice-chancellor 

delivered on this occasion on the contented working of the Dar al-Ulum. 

Explaining the eightfold principles, he said ;— 

"Rather than on the external causes the foundation of the Dar al- 
Ulum has been put on resorting to the Cause of ail causes. Hence the 
founder has made the abundance in donations the base and has pre- 
vented from relying on means of permanent income like a factory, 
commerce or promise of substantial grants, so that the functionaries, 
relying upon such income, may become careless and sit back comp- 
lacently the result of which would be enjoyment of life and its fruit 
would be mutual discord. The aim of the founder is that as regards 
finances a destitution of sorts and worry must always be there. This 
worry alone becomes the means of turning attention towards Allah Most 
High whereby the dignity of reliance on Allah and real life is created. 
Moreover, in this very principle, the august founder, by drawing atten- 
tion mostly to the donations of the poor, has laid the foundation of public 
relation so that the institution may be that of the poor and be called a 
public institution and not be governmental or feudalistic. It is for this- 
reason, praise be to Allah, that such effects, are present in the graduates 
of this institution. The sentiments of simplicity, frugality and content- 
ment with little have been cherished among the teachers, students and 
administrators so that the sentiments of greed and avarice do not combine 
in them. The greatest characterstic, basis and fundamental, of this insti- 
tution is knowledge and morality for the completion of which this insti- 
tution has been established and we understand that the stock-in-trade of 
the superiority or progress of any community is infact neither capital 
nor formal organisation but it is rather character, morality and right 
knowledge. Hence all the attention of the august men of this place is 
centred on the Tightness of the students' knowledge and morality, simp- 
licity of living, loftiness of character and the belief in the Hereafter". 


In a booklet entitled Hindustani Musaimtmo fce Ta'limi Idare, publi- 
shed by the central government of India, the introduction of the Dar al- 
Ulum, Deoband, has been couched in the) following words:— 

"There is also such a university in India which by virtue of its ethos 


is matchless and singular. This distinguished institution is situated in 
the beautiful town of Deoband, about a hundred miles from Delhi. 
Its foundation had been Said in the lasf quarter of the last century. This 
institution reminds one of the old university of Baghdad of the Abbasid 
era because from its architecture upto its practices it is like that only.' 

"The Dar al-Ulum, Decbond, is omong >he famous Islamic institutions 
of the world. Nearly 90 years 1 ago Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanau- 
tavi had founded it for the study of Islamic culijre. Incipiently it had 
started as a rrsaktab (primary school). Thereafter it developed ihrough 
Maulana Mahmud al : Hasan's efforts. The said Maulana later on became 
famous by the title of Shaikh al-Hind and attained a high position. 
He was a very high-spirited man and a sworn enemy of the alien govern- 
ment. He supported the Indian National Congress wherefore he had 
to pass the rest of his life in jail and exile. 

"The subjects taught in this university include Tafsir, Hadith, Islamic 
law, philosophy of law, principles of jurisprudence, schoiastic theology, 
philosophy, literature, astronomy, Unani system of medicine (Tibb), 
mathematics, history and several other disciplines: but the teaching of 
Hadith and Tafsir has had more importance here on account of which it 
is famous throughout the East. 

"Fees are not charged here from the students; on the contrary, 
books, lodging and boarding expenses are also a responsibility of the 

Dar al-Ulum. This is an international institution and every year students 

from different countries take admission here. 

"There are nearly ten thousand 2 books of Arabic, Persian and Urdu 
in the library here, including rare hand-written MSS. and historical 
documents". 3 


This year a very regrettable incident occurred in the Dar al-Ulum on 
the occasion of a meeting of the Majlis-e Mushawarat. The meeting of 
the said Majlis had beer ( held in the town. Some students of the Dar al- 

The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, was founded in Muharram, A.H. 1283 — May, 1866. 
Thus, according to the lunar calculation, in the current year A.H. 1395. 114 
years have passed over it and according to the solar reckoning this period 
comes to 111 years. 

On the whole there are more than one lakh books in the library of the Dar 


Islamic Institutions in India. 


Ulum also went there. During the meeting some tension arose between 
the students and the members of the Majlis. It soon developed into a 
riot, assault and battery and s one-throwing, and the matter came to such 
a pass that the meeting dispersed and the place of meeting was com- 
pletely disarranged. The students returning from the meeting kicked 
up a terrific row again against those persons who were connected with 
the meeting. The situation became more severe for the reason that the 
leaders of the Majlis-e Mushawarat included some members of the Majlis- 
e Shura of the Dar ai-UIum also. The management, with the help of the 
teachers, got hold on this insurrection after great difficulties. Under 
the force of such tense circumstances a meeting of the Majlis-e Shura was 
urgently convened and if decided after reviewing the situation that the 
Dar al-Ulum is an educational and training institute and its objective is 
to impart education and training to the students en the pattern of 
the predecessors, keeping itself aloof from factional struggle; that the 
foremost and most important duty of the students of the Dar al-Ulum 
Is to always keep the ideal of the Dar al-Ulumi before themselves, mould 
their lives in accordance with this ideal and never take any steps that 
may be detrimental to the objective of the Dar al-Ulum: 

On this occasion some people, under the cover of the students, tried 
to meddle in the administration of the Dar al-Ulum and some newspapers 
also turned up with them; but the press by and large supported the Dar 
al-Ulum and when a clear picture was presented before the country by 
the Dar al-Ulum, all the warps and woofs of the mischievous elements 
proved chimerical. 


A new hall and two rooms were added in A.H. 1386 for the exten- 
sion of the Dar al-Ulum library. This hall is reserved for the books of 
Arabic language. In a room adjacent to the hall the books written by 
the elders and ulema of the Dar al-Ulum have been arranged authorwise. 


The series of works have been begun with Hazrat Shah Wali Allah. 
The respectable names of some of the authors whose books have been 
arranged in this hall are as follows:— 

Shah Wall Allah Dehelvi, Shah Ahi Allah, Shah Abd a!-Aziz, Shah 
Rgfi al-Din, Shah Abd a!-Qadir, Shah Muhammad Ishaq, Maulana 
Muhammad Isma'il Shaheed, Maulana Ahmed Ali Saharanpuri, Haji Imdad 


Allah Mahajir-e Makki, Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, Maulana 
Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi, Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi, Mau- 
lana Zulfiqar Ali Deobandi, Maulana Khalil Ahmed Anbathvi, Shaikh al- 
Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi, Maulana Ahmed Hasan Amrohi, 
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed, the 5th 
vice-chancellor, Maulana Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Maulana 
Mufti Kifayat Allah Dehelvi, Maulana Mufti Aziz al-Rahman, Maulana 
Rahim Allah Bijnori, Maulana Ubayd Allah Sindhi, Maulana Mansoor Ansari, 
Maulana Habib al-Rahman Usmani, Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, Mau- 
lana Mian Asghar Husain Deobandi, Maulana Mufti Muhammad Sahool 
Bihari, Maulana Murtaza Hasan, Maulana Sayyid Husain) Ahmed Madani, 
Maulana Manazir Ahsan Gilani, AAaulana Abd al-Sam'ee Deobandi, Mau- 
lana Izaz Ali Amrohi, Maulana Fakhr al-Din Ahmed, Maulana Badr-e 
Alam Meeruthi, Maulana Muhammad Ibrahim Balliavi, Maulana Hifz 
al-Rahman, Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shaf'ee, Maulana Muhammad 
Idris Kandhlavi, Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Mian Deobandi, Maulana 
Muhammad Tahir Qasimi. (Allah's mercy be on all of them!). 

Maulana Muhammad Tayyib, the present vice-chancellor of the Dar 
al-Ulum, Maulana Sa'eed Ahmed Akbarabadi, Maulana Minnat Allah 
Rahmani, Dr. Mustafa Hasan Alavi, Maulana Muhammad Manzoor Nau- 
mani, Maulana Qazi Zayn a!-Abidin Sajjad, Maulana Hamid al-Ansari 
Ghazi, Maulana Habib al-Rahman Azami, Mcfulana Anwar al-Hasan 
Sherkoti, etc. 


Whenever any sorrowful incident occurred in the Islamic woiid sym- 
pathy was always expressed by the Dar a!-Ulum on it, some details of 
which have already been mentioned in the foregone. Israel's aggre- 
ssion over ond possession of Palestine in A.H. 1387 was such a terrible 
incident for the Muslim community which had affected the whole Islamic 
world. The Islamic world had by and large participated in helping and 
aiding the victimized Arabs. The Dar al-Ulum, too, as per its previous 
tradition, extended its hand of co-operation to support the Arabs on this 
occasion. For this it appealed to the country and having collected a large 
sum presented it to the governments of Egypt, Syria and Jordan. An 
office was established in the Dar ai-Ulum for the collection of funds for 
which the staff of the Dar al-Ulum offered its services without any remune- 
ration. The present writer was responsible for this office. 

In a meeting held in the Da;- al-Ulum on the occasion of the grievous 
incident of arson in the Aqsa Mosque, a resolution was passed and sent 


to the government of Jordan, censuring Israel and assuring the Arabs of 
Its co-operation. The government of Jordan replied it in the following 
words :— 

"We received your resolution which your zealous party of the Dar al- 
Ulum, Deoband, has sent in support of the Arabs and] in connection with 
the Aqsa Mosque. We are grateful to you from the bottom of our hearts 
for this sympathetic support of yours". 


The head-teacher Allamah Maulana Muhammad Ibrahim Balliavi's 
death in the holy Ramazan of A.H. 1387 was a great occurrence for the Dar 
al-Ulum. The history of the Dar al-LHum for more than half a century 
was connected with his blessed self. The allamah was a relic of the elders, 
the bearer of the old traditions and a trustee of the august elder's reli- 
gious behaviour. He was an excellent scholar and a peerless teacher. For 
more than half a century he rendered teaching services at the Dar 
al-Ulum and for a long time also performed excellently the duties of prin- 
cipalship and the organisation of educational activities. Besides Tafsir 
and Hadith, the high proficiency which he had attained in theology, scho- 
lastic theology, logic and philosophy was unparalleled in the academic 
circles. His life was a beacon not only for the students but also for the 
ulema generally. His students — whose number it is difficult to compute 
— are scattered everywhere in and outside India in large numbers. His 
lectures used to be a valuable source for the students. After a long illness 
he passed away in the holy month of Ramazan. His eternal resting-place 
is in the Qasi.mi graveyard. 


Allamah Balliavi's death as if opened the door of death in the Dar 
al-Ulum. While the grief for him was still unforgotlen, in Jamadi al- 
Ula, A.H. 1388, an old teacher of the Dar al-Ulum, Maulana Muhammad 
Jalil passed away. The sorrow of his death had as yet not become light 
when, just after a month, the pro-vice-chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum, Mau- 
lana' Sayyid Muhammad Mubarak All, the bearer of the traditions, habits 
and manners of the elders, died in the night of 4th Jamadi al-Thani, A.H. 
1388. Both these old gentlemen were special pupils and attendants of 
the Shaikh al-Hind. For more than 40 years they served the Dar al- 
Ulum and maintained their old behaviour till their last breath. 

While the grief for both these august men was still fresh, Maulana 
Hameed al-Din, a member of the Majlis-e Shura, while on his way from 


Delhi to Deobcind to attend a meeting of the said Majlis on 24th Sha'ban, 
A.H. 1388, died near Muzaffarnagar in a car accident. In intelligence 
and perception and in guarding the traditions and values of the Dar al- 
Ulum he had had a high position. He used to take great interest in the Dar 
al-Ulum and its works. 

Were these shocks small when on 14th Shawwal, A.H. 1388, the 
mufti of Ujjain, Mauiana Mahrr.ud Ahmed Nanautavi also expired? In 
respect of his simplicity, candidness and solid academic ability he was the 
bearer of many great qualities. His being in Madhya Pradesh was a 
centre of knowledge and guidance. He was a graduate of the Dar al- 
Ulum and a trustee of the relics of its elders. 

Hardly ten days had passed over this soul-crushing incident when on 
24th Shawwal, A.H. 13S3, the chief of the qaris of the Dar al-Ulum, 
Mauiana Qari Hifz ol-Rahman also died after a long illness. The de- 
ceased rendered services to the Dar al-Ulum for more or less 40 years 
in teaching the art of orthoepy (qir'at) and produced thousands of pupils 
and orthoepists who are scattered all over India and Pakistan and are 
gracing the masnads cf the science of cantillation (tcjvid) and orthoepy. 

AH. 1389 : STRIKE 

The studen's' strike in Rabi al-Thani, A.H. 1389, was the first inci- 
dent of its kind in the Dar al-Ulum. Although all the students of the Dar 
al-Ulum were not involved in it, the despicable measures adopted on this 
occasion by the striking students had rendered the non-siriking group of 
Students (who were far more in number than the strikers) quite helpless 
and unnerved and hence the strikers could do whatever they liked. Un- 
der youthful fervour and immature intelligence and consciousness and, at 
that, spurred by extraneous motivations, whatever one might perpetrate 
is not much. At the time of the strike it was estimated from the direction 
of the flow of even's that this educational hayccO was not merely for the 
sake of a charter of demands but it was an organised campaign, a con- 
spiracy hatched for the subversion of the Dar al-Uium, intent upon dis- 
rupting and devastating it, and the leadership of which was in the hands 
of outside elements who were using the students as their tools. This time 
the: striking students not only did not content themselves with educational 
boycott but they also first of all scrounged over the keys of the audito- 
riums and closing all the doors of the Dar al-Ulum from v/ithin, locked 
them up; and thus the strikers iook complete possession of the Dar al- 
Ulum. They virtually possessed all the auditoriums, offices, library, even 
the vice-chancellor's office and treasury of the Dar al-Ulum. 


This conspiracy for subversion was so strong and well-planned that 
seeing it, it was being feit lhat the very existence of the Dcrr al-Ulum was 
in jeopardy. But Allah's infinite favour and magnanimity helped the 
managing authorities. The management and the Majlis-e Shura, with 
extreme statesmanship and farsightedness, brought this expedition of sub- 
version under control very lightsomely wilhin a few days. The insubordi- 
nate students were expeiled and in order to bring back normalcy to the 
campus ihe Dar al-Ulum was closed for some days and students were sent 
away to their native places. 

It was such a tremendous plot that had it, God forfend, succeeded, 
the ship of the Dar -al-Ulum, entangled in this vortex of calamity, would 
have almost sunk. Buf Allah AAost High has still io make use of the Dar 
al-Ulum. 'A calamity had befcilen but it passed off well'. 


For the last few years the sphere of the utility of the library of the 
Dar al-Ulum which is a magnificent academic collection and has always 
been a special source of attraction for the educated on account of its va- 
riety, MSS. and a choice stock of books, has been widening by the day. 
The research scholars of the period feel the importance of this library. 
Many researchers actually came here and derived benefit from it, while 
some took advantage through correspondence. Besides those who come to it 
from different parts of India, the research scholars of Europe and America 
also consider it necessary to make use of this library for the completion of 
their research work. Accordingly, Prof. Hardey from London University, 
Mrs. Gaily Graham from America, Miss Carren det Mira from Germany, 
and Mrs. Metcalff from California came to Deoband in connection with the 
preparation of their research theses and benefitted from the library of the 
Dar al-Ulum. 

The topic of research of the German student was : Hindustan ki Siya- 
sat men Musalmano ka Hissa ("The Muslims' Part in the Politics of India"), 

This German student remarked : "I got more than expected material from 
the Dar al-Ulum; I did not hope that I would get so much material con- 
cerning my thesis from the library here". 1 The American lady, Mrs. Gaily 
Graham's topic was the problem of Khilafat. When she expressed her 
desire to be enlightened on this topic by the learned vice-chancellor the 
latter asked her to first list some of her questions which would open the 
way for a dialogue. She submitted a list of 31 questions. The vice- 
chancellor invited some teachers also to his residence to provide ascertain- 

1. 'Dar al-Ulum" monthly, Feb., 1970, p. 46, Rudad-e Amal, A.H. 1389. 


ed answers to her questions. When all had come, he took up the list 
and addressing her, said : "These gentlemen will give you the answers 
of your questions in serial order later but before that I will initially tell 
you briefly something about the basis of this problem and its offshoots". 
Saying this he delivered a detailed leclure in which he threw light on the 
reality of Khilafat, its his.orical period, its changes and later remnants. 
The lecture that continued for three quarters of an hour consisted of com- 
prehensive information on all those queslions. Then he said : "Now you can 
put your questions to these teachers and they will answer each one of 
them". Mrs. Graham who was jotting down the speech said : "I have 
received satisfactory answers to all my questions and no more need to 
put any question". 


In Rajab, A. H. 1389, some gentlemen from Arab countries like Moro- 
cco, Algeria and East Jordan came to the Dar al-Ulum. They were very 
much impressed on seeing it and expressed their observations in the fol- 
lowing words :— | 

"It is Holy Lord's obligation that He gave us a chance to come to 
India. Travelling through india we are experiencing the same fervour 
and religious zeal which used to surge in the hearts of the holy Compa- 
nions (Allah be pleased with all of them!}. When we compare the diffi- 
culties and hardships we face in our journey with the crusading lives of 
the Companions, all this struggle appears to be something very contemp- 
tible. We took rounds and saw different parts of India. Here the Mus- 
lim inhabitants, by Allah's grace, give a special position to the prophetic 
sunnah in their lives. Their womenfolk observe purdah and are fond of 
religious gatherings and hearing sermons and advices. The religious insti- 
tutions here are also bearers of certain characteristics and are running 
according to their particular manner. We were very glad to see that the in- 
fluences of Islamic teachings on Indian customs and manners are of a very 
far-reaching nature and in a country like India where people keep coming 
from all over the world the Islamic teachings are the centre of attraction. 

"We are sincerely grateful Jo the monaging authorities of the Dar 
r l-Ufum tha ■ they acquainted us wi*h the Dar al-Ulum and heard our sub- 
missions with attention and eagerness. The additional favour they did 
us was that we should also express our opinion in the Visiting Book. 
May Allah give them good reward I 


"We pray to the Magnanimous Lord thai He bestow more progress and 
success on the Dar al-Ulum and fuifii the hopes of its functionaries, teach- 
ers and students in their good objectives"! 


You may be remembering that the Dar al-Ulum had started in an 
oid mosque of Chhatta in A. H. 1283. There were several rooms to 

the north and south of this mosque, Haji Muhammad Absd and Maulana 
Mohammed Yaqub Ncmaufavi used to live in the southern rooms and the 
northern room was the residence of Maulana Muhammad Qasrm Nanau- 
tavi. This northern room was very much dilapidated. So it was recons- 
tructed in A. H. 1389 and this historical place was preserved in the fcvm 
of a spacious room. A wide verandah has been built in front of this 
room. The felicity of constructing ihir, building fell to the lot of a 
retired military officer of Khurja (Buland Shahar), our respected Major 
Ahmed Sa'eed Khan. May Allah AAosi High bestow good reward upon 
the Major Sahib ! Through his attention this historical place has been 
preserved for a long time to come. 


The nsed of revision of the syllabus of the Dar al-Ulum was being 
felt for quite some time and this problem was exercising the mine? of the 
Majlis-e Shura as a result of which the following chances were made in it :— 

1. Classification was made necessary for the syllabus Formerly, instead 
of classification, the prevalent method of teaching was bookwise. 

2. Some books were added to ihe syllabus. 

3. As for the graduate classes, graduate courses in Tafsir, theology, 
rational sciences and literature were started. 

Details regarding syllabus will be presented under the caption "Sy- 


The facilitating means of transport in the present age have done 
away with the centuries old long distances. In such circumstances no 
country can remain a stranger to other countries. The Arabic journal, 
Da'war cil-Haq, is a means of forging such connections. The details of 




the countries where this journal reaches and serves as a means of introdu- 
ction to the academic and religious services of the Dar al-Ulum are as 
follows :— 

Saudi Arabia, Republic of Egypt, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, 
East Jordan. 

Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Gulf States, Nigeria, Algeria; Iran 

Indonesia, Turkey, Tashkent, Ethiopia; America, Germany, Denmark, 
Sri Lanka. 

At present, instead of the Da'wat al-Haq, the fortnightly Al-Da't isi 
being published. 


The details of the addition to the buildings of the Dar al-Ulum during 
this year are as follows :— 

The incomplete building of the hospital of the Jamia Tibbia was com- 
pleted. This hospital-building which has been constructed outside the com- 
pound of the Dar al-Ulum in the north-western direction consists of two 
large halls, four rooms and verandahs. One ward has been constructed 
by the Waqf of Karnal and another by Hafiz Irshad llahi of Agra and 
some other donors. To the north of the hospital a large part of the hostel 
for the African students was built and named "Afriqi Building", consist- 
ing of eleven large rooms. Making constructional changes in some of the 
rooms of the new hostel they were changed into barns. These barns for 
preserving grain have been constructed according to the latest methods " i 

of perservation and have the capacity of stocking six thousand mounds 1 
of grain necessary for the Dar al-Ulum for the whole year. 


It will not be out of place in the annals of this year to mention those 
impressions which a member of the All-India Agricultural Commission, 
Chaudhari Randhir Singh, expressed in a public function after visiting the 
Dar a[-UIum, He said :— 

1. Nearly 218 metric tons. (Translator) 


"This insiitution is such an establishment that a visit to and presence 
in it is a very great felicity; I am feeling very glad at the fulfilment of 
a long-standing longing. I have come here as a member of your brother- 
hood and family and wish to fell you very sincerely and candidly that you 
as Muslims are the members of a very important community of this country; 
you need not be distracted or impressed by the narrow-mindedness of the 
communalists. The Muslims have greatly obliged this country; they have 
rendered creditable services in moulding and embellishing civilisation and 
culture, morality and character, and we feel proud of it .hat in this coun- 
try exist institutions in the name of Islam and also people who spread 
the true light of Islam". 

The Chaudhari Sahib said in very emphatic terms :— 

"This country is yours. The Muslims are its respectable citizens. 
The history of this country is ashine with their services. Spiritual and 
moral institutions of this type have a very high place in lifting up the 
head of India with pride". 1 


The vice-chancellor's journey to Europe is also one of the notable 
events of this year. He went to England, France and West Germany. 
This journey began on 14th Jomad! al-Akhir, AH. 1391 (A.D. 1971)! and 
ended on 15th Sha'ban, A.H. 1391. He happened to visit all the big 
cities of England like Gloucester, Bradford, Batley, Blackburn, Prestcn, 
Boulton, Sheffield, Coventry, Birmingham, Rochdale; Walsol; etc. In 
London proper he delivered speeches at several gatherings. One speech 
he delivered in the Bradford University. It was the wish of the students 
of that university that there was need of a speech which might affect the 
atheistic ideas and ungodly set-up of Europe. His speeches comprised of 
topics like the Existence of the Creator, Divine Unity, Necessity of Prophet- 
hood, the fundamental objectives of the Islamic Shari'ah, Origin of Life, 
and Life-to-eome, etc. After the said speech was over the students said 
that "during the course of the speech all our doubts which the western 
atmosphere had created in our minds were breaking up; we were feeling 
as if our hearts were being washed with cold water", 

Upto 22nd December, 1971, he stayed in England. While returning 
from there he happened to go to Paris. There is quite a sizeable popu- 
lation of Arabs in Paris. They welcomed him very warmly at the airport. 

1. Rudad-e Amal, A.H. 1391, pp. 4 & 5. 


1 _ 308 

There at two functions he spoke in Arabic; these speeches made a very 
good effect upon ihe Arabs. From Paris he went to West Get many and 
from there to Mecca. After achieving the honour of performing the 
umrcih and visiting the sacred tomb of the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace 
and blessings be on him \\ and a brief halt at Kuwait, he returned to 

After this tour of the western countries -;he vice-chancellor expressed 
the following opinion : ''The people of Europe ace at present in search 
of the peace of heart. The progress of science has completely deprived 
them of spiritualism. They are thirsty. Such preachers and ulema are 
urgently required there who, having full command over the English lan- 
guage, may explain the basic principles of the Islamic sciences with in- 
sight and discrimination to the people of those places and may also live 
for some time amongst them with financial independence". 

A detailed letter of the vice-chancellor on the conditions prevailing 
in Europe has already been published in several newspapers and has evin- 
ced much interest; in it he has thrown light with moderation on both the 
good and bad aspects of those places. 


It is clearly known from the past history of ihe Dar a!-Ulum, Deo- 
band, that its sphere of aciivi'y has not remained confined to mere edu- 
cational field. Since Islam is a compleie code for both religious end se- 
cular life, if provides a permanenr programme not only for the Hereafter 
but also ihe worldly life. Islam Is such a charming amalgam of the ra- 
tionalism and traditionalism of its commandments, spiritualism and mate- 
rialism, individualism and socialism, devotions and social life, human 
rapport and divine coiyioc iens ihci* i: invites hearts fo, accept it by satisfy- 
ing them with argument and prpof along with the healthy traditions of 
the human intellect. It is for this reckon that the Muslims' attachment to 
Islam has been naturally so strong. Accordingly, whenever Islam or the 
Muslims were af'acked or any religious or political necessity arose for the 
Muslims, the elders of the Dar ai-Ulum, Deoband, ros- to the occasion and 
left no stone unturned in fulfilling the scid necesrily or. in defendm-j Islam 
or the Muslims. 

So, as soon as the elders of the Dar al-'.llum came to know that the 
Government of India was c -n'emplatmg to make changes in the Muslim 
Personal Law, they concentrated nil their attention on this matter. Earlier, 
in A.H. 1336/A.D. 1917, in connection with the arrival of the Secretary 


of State for India some changes in the administration of the country were 
anticipated. At that time also the ulema of Deoband, keeping before 
themseives the precedents (lit., footprints) of iheir predecessors, had them- 
selves prepared a memorandum on this problem consisting of ten articles. 
In November, 1917, a respectable delegation under the leadership of 
Maulana Haflz Muhammad Ahmed, the then vice-chancellor of the Dar al- . 
Ulum, Deoband, wer.t to Delhi, met the Secrelory of S'ate 'or India, and 
presented the memorandum in which it had been mentioned explicitly that 
the government in respect of the family propositions (snosa'ii) of the Mus- 
lims must not formulate any act which might clash with the reiigio-lega! 
laws, for such an act would never be acceptable to the Muslims. 

There were two basic demands in i hi s memorandum. Firstly, in 
order to enforce the Muslim Personal Law in Sndia a department of justice 
(qez-a) should be established. Since, as per the !egal principle, the appoint- 
ment of a Muslim officer is a condition for the enforcement of most of 
the propositions, qazis ought to be selected, and appointed from cmongst 
the Ahl-e Sunnah wal-Jama'ah. This council should consist of ulema of 
every sect as representatives and members and a proposition should be 
decided in accordance with the juridical principle of the sect concerned. 
Secondly, for the protection, supervision and adminisfra'ion of the Mus- 
lims' practices, mosques, madrasahs, tombs, pious fcurdaticn:,; hospices 
and other religious public works a post of Shaikh al-lslam responsible for 
maintaining all these practices in proper order should be established. 

The endorsing signatures of nearly 500 ulema of that period were 
acquired on these demands whtch are still preserved in the Record Office 
of the Dar al-Ulum. 

Thereafter, in 1348/1929, arose the problem of the management 
of Muslim endowments in India which was essentially an important 
■part of the Muslim Personal Law itself. The then government appointed 
a commiitee which sent questionnaires io different circles in the country. 
At this details of the piopcsstions of endowment were compiled under 
the leadership of the Hakim cJ-Umat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, critici- 
zing the draft of the Waqf Bill from the Islamic point of view, a written 
solution of the submitted difficulties was presented, and simultaneously a 
writing entitled Al-lnsaf fi Ocmum ai-Awqaf was also compiled on which 
all great ulema of the time set down their signatures. All efforts apposiSe- 
to the time were made in this connection. 

Then during the same British regime arose the problem of the Sards 
Act which was in itself a permanent part of the personal law. The 
ulema of Deoband wrote articles on it and Maulana Thanvi wrote a 


separate treatise regarding the basic motives of the Sarda Bill and ihe 
marriageable age, with confutation of the proposed amendement in the 
religious law, and in which the solution of difficulties had also been 

A little before the revolution of 1366/1947, Hazrat Thanvi, on 
behalf of the ulema of Deoband, published a book entitled Al-Hiiat al- 
Najiza in which he has presented the legal ways of deliverance of Forlorn 
and helpless wives from their oppressive husbands. In this connection 
u committee of ulema was formed in the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, which, 
in the light of the same religious laws, decided such cases, got hundreds of 
women released and found out positive solutions of their difficulties. 

After the revolution and partition of the country in 1366/1947 
arose from the government the problem of the annulment of the zamin- 
dari system which affected the lands of endowments also; ihis too was 
a basic part of the personal law. In this connection a delegation met 
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad under the leadership of Maulana Qari Muha- 
mmad Tayyib. Then a second time the same delegation went to Lucknow 
and met Pandit Pant, the then chief minister of U.P. and discussed this 
problem with the chairman of Awqaf of the U.P. Council in the presence 
of other ministers. 

In short, the Dar al-Ulum, praise be to Allah, was never remiss in 
discharging the duty of "preventing the indecent" (nihi anil munkar) 
The Common Civil Code being against the j-eligious law, it was challenged 
by the Dar al-Ulum with all the force at iis command. Essays and arti- 
cles were published. An outstanding religious divine of the Dar al-Ulum, 
Deoband, Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shaf'ee, the former official mufti 
of the institution, published a detailed treatise entitled Hamare Ac'ili 
Masa'il (Our Family Propositions) in which their religio-legal solutions 
have been presented in a reasonable way. 

In 1392/1972 the problem of change and amendment in the Per- 
sonal Law rose up with great force and vehemence and the juridical and 
legal propositions of Islam were expressed to be insufficient for the 
present-day needs. So to "have an academic review of this and to answer 
the objections advanced against it, a Muslim Personal Law Committee 
consisting of the teachers and fetwa-issuing authorities of the Dar al- 
Ulum, Deoband, was formed in order that it may discharge the duty of 
well-argumented defence in respect of these propositions. Th* said 
committee, accordingly, discharged its function as per expectation. In this 
connection the vice-chancellor firstly convened a meeting in the Dar a|- 


Ulum on March 14, 1972, inviting distinguished scholars of ihe Dar al- 
Ulum as well as other intellectuals in the country. The reason was that 
although eminent ulema no doubt paid sufficient attention to this problem 
published articles, essays and treatises, these efforts however were indi- 
vidual and personal. The need of the hour was a collective legal stand, 
which alone could draw the attention of the government. From this 
point of view the said meeting was called in which many local and non- 
local thinkers of the millat (community) participated to formulate and 
fix up a legal stand in respect of the personal law. After due argumen- 
tation and discussion a common statement and questionnaire was com- 
piled and at the same time this Commitiee approved a proposal for an 
All-India Muslim Personal Law Convention and also appointed a Pre- 
paratory Commitiee for it in which several members of the local committee, 
members of the Shura, legal experts and intellectuals were also included 
as members. This Committee held several meetings in the Dar al-Ulum. 
In one such meeting held in the beginning of May the relevant 
questionnaire came under discussion and then, after being printed, 
it was sent to the ulema, eminent muftis, .hinkers and intellectuals of 
all schools of thought, requesting them to send their answers by July. To 
ponder over these answers* a meeiing of the local Preparatory Committee 
was held on 2nd Jamadi al-Akhir, A.H. 1392 (July 14, 1972) and it 
was decided in it that to deliberate over these answers further and 1o 
fix the dates for the proposed public convention another meeting of this 
committee be convened in the Dar al-Ulum on 5th and 6th Rajab, A.H. 
1392 (August 15—16, 1972). Accordingly, the meeting was held on 
these dales and Maulana Habib al-Rahman Azami, Maulana Mufti Atiq 
al-Rahman Usmani, Maulana Sa'eed Ahmed Akbarabadi, Maulana Sayyid 
Muhammad Mian, Maulana Muhammad Manzoor Naumani, Dr. Mustafa 
Hasan Lakhanavi, Maulana Abd al-Qadir Maleganvi, Maulana Mujahid 
al-lslam, the Shara'i amir of Bihar, Maulana Burhan al-Din of Nadvat 
al-Ulama, Lucknow, and members of the Muslim Personal Law Committee 
of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, took part in the discussions. 

In this meeting all the ulema and the elders after hearing the ans- 
wers to the questionnaire arranged by the teachers and graduates of the 
Dar al-Ulum whom the vice-chancellor had already sent some guide- 
lines, expressed their pleasure that the ulema's answers on the most im- 
portant problems of the time had been garnished with disquisitional, 
rational and traditional arguments whereby the Islamic stand in respect 
of the problems on the carpet had emerged clearly; and in which it has 
been proved that the immutable principles of the Islamic Shari'ah have 
had the capacity to produce satisfactory solutions for the problems of 
every age and are the guarantors of human weal. 


According to the decision of the Preparatory Commiifee a delegalicn 
of five persons, consisting of Maulcma Qciri Muhammad Tayyib, Maulana 
Minnat Allah Rahmani, Mau'ona Muhammad Manzeor Naumani and 
Maulana Muhammad Salim Qasimi, went to Bombay for deciding the 
date and venue for the proposed convention. Th s sincere and high- 
spirited Muslims of Bombay very gladly and fervency took upen them- 
selves the responsibility to arrange (he convention in Bombay. So, 20th 
and 21st. Zil-qa'da, A.H. 1392 (December 27 - 23, 1972) were dee- 
ded and fixed for ihe Ail-India Muslim Personal Law Convention. In 
view of the objective, it was considered appropriate and useful that the 
invitation cards be issued in the name of the elders of the different 
schools of thought and ihe leaders of well-known and acknowledged 
Muslim organisations in India. Then, on 27th and 28th December, 1972 
(A.H. 1392) this great conversion, with its unusual peculiarities, was 
held at Bombay in which all ihe Muslim parlies of India pariicipaed. 

As much as ihis convention, in respect of the gathering and repre- 
sentation of the various schools of thought of the Indian Muslims was 
out of the common, to that extent Allah Most High also ma-Js it success- 
ful. By the unanimous vote of the conveners and delegates of the con- 
vention which included Sunnis, Shias, Mahdavis, Bareiilvis, Ahl-e Hadiih, 
Jama'at-e Islam i as well as leaders of political and non-politica! parties, 
Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib was elected as the president of the 
convention. From amongst the different religious schools of thought and 
classes of Indian Muslims there had regained no class whose prominent 
ulema and top-ronking men might not have gathered at the platform of 
this convention. This convention, and in other words, the Muslims of all 
the schools of though;- in India, proclaimed unanimously through their 
resolution that they could under no circumstances tolerate any change 
and amendment in the Muslim Personal Law, which is an integral part 
of the Islamic Shari'ah. This unanimous voice affected both the country 
and the government, and through this convention, clue to the unity of the 
Kaiima, all the Muslims of India were united, which was an unparalleled 
situation in the history of India. 

This was the first occasion after the Khilafat Movement that the 
Muslims of India, of every school of thought, uniting and gathering at 
one platform, gave proof of their. Islamic unity and solidarity. There- 
after the second great meeting of the All-India Muslim Personal Law 
Board was held at Hyderabad. The Working Committee of this Board 
selected Hakim al-hlam Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib as the presi- 
dent of the All-India Board and Maulana Minnat Allah Rahmani as gene- 
ral secretary. 


While defending the Personal Lew and saving it from amendment, 
the basic purpose of the Bombay Convention was to declare it on behalf 
of the learned men end the intelligenfsia belonging io all the schools of 
thought in India that ihe Indian MusRms or every shade of opinion and 
i'-hooi of thought can neither relinquish their Personal Law under any 
circumstances nor can tolerate any kind cf change or amendment and 
alteration in it nor are they ready io accept any such law that may affect 
even c: small portion of their Persona! Law. In other words, the Muslims 
are not ready to annihilate their sc'ai and cultural characterstics ond 
distinctions on which the edifice of their communal existence is standing 
end iheir distinct legal and communal pre-eminence rests. 


The greatest amongst the incidents of this year is !he sad demise of 
Maulana Sayyid Fakhr a!-Din Ahmed, dean of the Dar a!-Ulum, Deoband. 
Exactly at 11-30 p.m. on the night following Wednesday, 21st Safar, 
A.H. 1392, this lamp of knowledge and action was extinguished. May 
Allah Most High bestow high ranks upon him in the loftiest paradise I 
"Unto Allah we belong and unto Him is the retreat"! 

Maulana Sayyid Fakhr al-Din Ahmed's lefciuVe'sJ on flKe Bukhari Sharif 
were very famous. His teaching of Hcdith, in its peculiarities, resem- 
bled that cf the Shaikh al-Hind and Mau ; ana Anwar Shah Kashmiri and 
hence, in his time, the number of students cf Hadith had reached the 
figure of 3'00. 

With his passing away the seat of -'sanship in fne* Dar ai-Ulum, 
Deoband, which was being filled so far continuously by the direct dis- 
ciples of the Shaikh al-Hind was rendered vacant. The sorrow en his 
demise was still not forgotten when an able ^eacher of the Dar al-Ulum, 
Maulana Islam al-Haq Azami passed cway at his native place, Kopaganj 
(Dist. Azarngarh). He was among the pre-eminent disciples of the A/\uhad- 
dith-e Kashmiri (Allah's mercy be on him!). He started serving as a 
teacher from the time of his graduation. 

The third incident that befell was of the deaih of Maulavi Abd al- 
Vchid, superintendent of accounts, on 4 th Shawwal, A.H. 1392 (1972). 
He served in, the Accounts Depariment of the Dar al-U'lurn for more than 
forty years. 

May Allah Most High bestow pardon and the comforts of the Here- 
after on all of them! 



A delegation from Egypt, under the leadership of Muhammad Tau- 
fiq Qwaiza, reached Deoband by car. The delegation, on behalf of the 
Egyptian government, presented an illuminated copy of the Holy Quran 
and a set of 44 records of Mahmud al-Bana's orthoepy (qir'ctt), covering 
the whole text of the Quran. 

During the course of conversation Mr. Taufiq remarked that Allama 
Rasheed Reza's saying is quite correct that "he who did not see the Dar 
al Ulum saw nothing at all". 


On September 7, 1972 (A.H. 1392), Mr. Takish Sozu and Mr. Meit- 
meo Ora, professors of Urdu and history respectively of Tokyo Univer- 
sity, Japan, came by car with a lady-scholar to the Dar al-Ulum. They 
noted down the statistics of teachers, students, clerks, and income and 
expenditure; and took several photographs of ihe statistical charts hang- 
ing in the vice-chancellor office, showing the statistics of one hundred 
years about principals, vice-chancellors, teachers, students, number of 
graduates, as also income and expenditure given yearwise. All the 
three of them could speak and understand Urdu sufficiently well. They 
also took photographs of the title-pages of all the works of Maulana 
Muhammad Qasim, the founder of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and also of 
Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi, patron of the Dar al-Ulum. 


In 1392/1972, from amongst those attached to the Dar al-Ulum, 
Maulana Anzar Shah Kashmiri went for hajj by air. Besides him, the 
felicity of being honoured with pilgrimage to the House of Allah and a 
visit to the sacred tomb of the Holy Prophat (Allah's peace and blessings 
be on him!) fell to the lot of this writer also. 


This year two delegations came to the Dar al-Ulum from Saudi 
Arabia. One of these which was touring different countries of the world 
on behalf of the Rabeta-e Alam-e Islami, Mecca, arrived at the Dar al- 
Ulum in the middle of the year. Sayyid Ibrahim Theqaf was the leader 
of this delegation. After some time the other delegation arrived in the 


beginning of the month of Sha'ban. It consisted of the director of the 
Ministry of Education and representatives of the institution of Mabahith-e 
'llmiyyah (Academic discussions). These gentlemen, after inspecting the 
Dar al-Ulum, declared it to be the light-house of knowledge, the resort 
of gnosis and esoteric knowledge, and a haven for the seekers of guid- 
ance; and also acknowledged the fact thai' from the Dar ol-Ulum came 
out such ulema who spread the science of Hadith irt India, and protected 
the upright religion from the interpolation of transgressors, misconstruc- 
tions of the ignorant and the mischief-mongers and deviation, 


During the last phase of A.H. 1393, Akbar Ali Khan, the governor of 
U.P., came to the Dar ol-Ulum. Complimenting the Dar al-Ulum, he 
said-: "They were the elders of Deoband only who creaied the thirst for 
liberty and powerful sentimenls for taking part in the fight for indepen- 
dence in the hearts of crores of people. They enkindled the torch of 
Hindu-Muslim unity, protection of the highest values of humanity and the 
circulation and propagation of the good paitern of "the Mercy for Both 
the Worlds" (Allah's peace and blessings be on him!) an d his sacred 
teachings whereby every nook and corner of the country became illumi- 
nated. This cradle of knowledge and wisdom is an international centre 
of Islamic teachings, a strong citadel of the fight for freedom, a centre of 
unity, and a trustee of the glories of a country like India". 

The honourable governor, while laying the foundation-stone of the 
Bharat Degree College at Deoband on this occasion, said : "Today, see- 
ing the vice-chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and Swami Dev 
Kalayanji, founder of the Bharat Degree College, Deoband, shoulder to 
shoulder, we can say frankly that the hearts which are saturated with 
eagerness for service and sincerity not only do not have any divergence 
between them but are also appreciators of each other and know the 
worth of each other. Divergence is usually there where there is no 
eagerness for service. It is our duty that on this occasion we thank the 
respectable vice-chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum who, giving his precious 
time, is present in our midst with sincerity and eagerness to fortify the 
aspirations of the country and the nation. The presence of both of them 
here at this time gives all of us a great lesson to be one with love and 
affability, a lesson which we should write down on the tablets of our 
hearts and act upon it", 


In A.H. 1394, for the practical protection and maintenance of the 
Muslim Persona] Law and the laws of the Shari'ah, a department of Qata 


(justice) was established, in consequence thereof Dar al-Qaza have been 
established of several places in which family prepositions like marriage 
and divcrce etc., have begun io be settled. 


In early Sha'ban, A.H. 1395, Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, the 
vice-chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, inauguraied a magnificent 
mosque at St. Peter in Reunion, East Africa. The corner-stone of this 
mosque had also been laid by him some years back. From there he 
went to the holy Mecca at the invitation of the Rabeta-e Alam-e Islcmi 
to attend its meeting named "Risalat al-Masjid". The purpose of the 
Rabeta behind holding this meeting was to find ways and means for 
uniting the Muslims of the world. Prominent ulema and intellectuals of 
different, countries had been invited to attend this meeting. The learned 
vice-chancellor in this great meeting presented an article in which he 
had highlighted the importance of the mosque and its utilitarian aspects. 
This article deserves to be paid heed to by every Muslim. Some brief 
excerpts from this article are as follows :— 

"The Rabeta-e Alam-e Sslami deserves to be congratulated' for awake- 
ning consciousness of the fundamental objectives of religion under the 
caption of the mosque. This attempt of the Rabeta is an auspicious 
one for the whole Islamic world whereby it can be hoped that all our 
religious and secular tasks will be accomplished with the spirit of re- 
membrance of Allah and prayer. 

"The mosque is the only means of human good and weal as well as 
religious and secular improvement because it, permeating al! good 
works in the conscience of man through prayer, makes him a true 
worshipper of Allah and a true citizen in whom the mixed sentiments of 
sanctity and selectness along with those of devotions and compliance, 
fraternity and equality, sacrifice, sympathy and sociability emerge and 
he becomes a tranquallizing and comforting man of the world. 

"The concept of the mosque is infact the concept of purification 
(ta'hara), devotions (ibadat), equity t'ctdcilat), bravery (samahat), service 
(khidmeft), religious call (da'wat), fraternity, love, equality and common 
socialism; and these are the same basic objectives of Islam which can 
be called the message of the mosque, if the mosque is a house, these 
good things are its occupants for which this sacred house has been built. 
Hence it will be our religio-legal (shara'i) duty that we do not consider 


the word 'mosque' a mere custom or a Technical term but that we admit 
it to be ihe natural mode for the accomplishment of these important 

"In Isiam the mosque alone has been the locale of the beginning 
and the completion of all ihe fundamental works. The mosque is our 
place of worship as well cs our training institute; the place for 
(towards religion) as well as the place of politics, from which, if, on the 
one hand, were produced great ulema, on the other, The armies of the 
warriors of Islam were also dispatched. If there used to be teaching 
and learning In it, court decisions and international treaties were alsD 
made in it. The Noble Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be on him!}, 
initiating the grandeur of Islam after emigration (hijrp) to Madina, first 
of all laid the foundation-stone of the mosque only. In the Divine Court 
the beginning of the creation of the universe s.arted with the Sacred 
Mosque (Masjid-e Harem) and in the prophetic court the beginning of 
ihe grandeur of religious legislation started with the Prophet's Mosque; 
whereby the mosque is proved fo be the headspring of both creation 
(fakveen and legislation, (tashr'ee). The mosque is giving us the message 
that we present devotions, morals, dealings, social life, politics and socia- 
listic activities before the world in that colour which is the colour of prayer 
(namaz) and remembrance (zikr) and attachment to Allah. '(We take our) 
eolour from Allah, and who is better than Allah ai colouring. We are 
His worshippers' (II: 138). 

"At all events, the rising of this call of 'Risalat ol-Mosjid' from .his 
sacred city and secure land and the emergence of the organisation of 
mosques or the objectives of mosque is pleasing and an auspicious 
augury for the Muslims of this era, provided this call is taken further 
with the same reality which is the reel theme of this caption - Risabt 
ai-Masjid, and the natural meaning of this call. So we understand that 
good days will come for the Muslims of the world and the Muslims of 
every country, particularly the ulema, will welcome this call with their 
heart and saul. As far as ihe ulema of India and the graduales and 
scholars of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, are concerned, I assure you that 
they will not only welcome it but will also extend their whole-hearted 
co-operation. "And the grace is from Allah"! 

In this meeting of the Risala^ al-Masjid members of the Majlis-e Shura 
of Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, viz., Maulana Mufti Atiq ai-Rahman Usmani, 
Maulana Muhammad Manzoor Naumani and Maulana Sayyid Minnat 
Allah Rahmani also participated. 


The vice-chancellor went from the holy Mecca to London via Paris 
(France), at the Invitation of the Muslims residing in the U.K. There he 
addressed gatherings at various towns and availed himself of the chance 
of correcting and improving the beliefs and actions of the Muslims resid- 
ing in England. 


Among the important events of A.H. 1395 is the arrival of Shaikh 
al-Azhar Dr. Abd al-Haleem Mahmud, Vakil al-Azhar Shaikh Abd al- 
Rahman Baitar, the Chief Mufti of Egypt Muhammad Khatir, and the ex- 
Shaikh al-Azhar Shaikh Muhammad a!-Faham. The Shaikh al-Azhar 
said \— 

'I cannot help acknowledging lhat these are the sings of the abs- 
tinence and piety, sublimeness of knowledge, sincerity and selflessness 
of the vice-chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, which are being 
witnessed in this institution, and it is the result of the same that the graduat- 
es of ihe Dar al-Ulum are busy in all cities and countries". 

Shaikh Muhammad Al-Faham said :— 

"I had been yearning to see the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, for a long time. 
My yearning went on augmenting day by day. I prayed to Allah Most High 
that as long as 1 did not see the Dar al-Ulum I should not die. Praise be 
to Allah that this my longing has been fulfilled today which I can never 
forget. Whatever I have seen here with mine own eyes is much more than 
what I had heard about it. It is my prayer lhat Allah Most High favour 
the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and its ulema with every kind of aid and 
progress. This institution is □ secure fort amongst the forts of Islam. 
May Allah Most High help (hose people who are working in it so that they 
may render better and better services" I 

A few days after the arrival of these gentlemen came another parly 
of Arabian ulema, consisting of Yusuf al-Sayyid Hashim Rifa'i, a minister 
in the government of Kuwait; Prof. Abd al-Rahman, editor of Al-Balagh 
(monthly) of Kuwait; Shaikh Abd al-Muizz Abd al-Sattar of Qatar; and 
also a representative from Tashkent, Sharf al-Din Muhammadav, etc. 
Speaking in a general funclion, Yu«uf al-Sayyid Hashim al-Rifa'i said :— 

"The world of Islam at present is confronted with a very harsh 
challenge. Formerly this challenge had come from the enemies of Islam 
but now it is emerging internally from the Muslim young men themselves. 
These young men getting modern education read books written by 



orientalists on Islam with the result that being infected with skepticism 
they bSgin to assert lhat Islam is not capable of guiding man in the present 
times; and the great misfortune is that it becomes difficult to face an enemy 
when he is in your own house. The condition of these youngsters is that 
they do not at all know the true features of Islam. To meet this challenge 
of thought we require well-versed ulema and to produce well-versed ulema 
there is need of an institution like the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. This is a 
need not only of India but also of the whole Islamic world. To repulse the 
objections against Islam we require first-rate ulema of the standard of 
Haftz Zahbi and Hafiz Ibn Hajar, and we are proud that the ulema of 
this class are present in the Dar al-Ulum. 

"The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, in its thoughts and views, has been 
deriving benefit from Shah Wali Allah Dehelvi. Irnan Ghazalr, as suited 
his time, protected Islam from the incursion of the Greek philosophy. 
Shah Wali Allah did the work of rebutting infidelity (kufr) and polythe- 
ism (shirk). We also should work on those things which are the pro- 
duct of this period. Satanic powers use newer and newer weapons 
every day; we too should keep working against them to protect and 
preserve our thoughts and beliefs". 

Shaikh Abd al-Muizz Abd al-Sattar said :— 

"Allah Most High bestowed upon us the grace to visit this Islamic 
citadel which we remember by the name of "the Azhar of India — Dar 
al-Ulum, Deoband". May Allah Most High bestow upon Dar al-Ulum, 
Deoband, more and more grace to serve the upright religion and to work 
for the call of Islam ' We in our native place used to read and hear 
regularly about the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and we knew that it is a 
beacon of religion which is illuminating the entire Islamic world with 
its brilliance. May Allah make your future better than the present even 
as He made the present better than the past"! 

At the end he said ! "I wish to draw your attention to the Sura-e 
Asr. Imam Shafi'i observes that this Sura, by virtue of its contents, is 
more than sufficient for adorning human life. It inculcates faith (iman), 
virtuous action, the gripping of the truth, and foriitude over misfortunes. 
If the philosophers and the intelligentsia of the whole world forgather to 
chalk out a programme' for human life, they shall not be able to present 
anything better than these four things". 


On 7th Shawwal, A.H. 1395, befell the painful incident of Maulana 
Sayyid Muhammad Mian's death. Besides being an erudite religious 


divine, he had hod deep knowlerge and insight in Fiqh (Jurisprudence) 
and history. His political services and writings will be always re- 
memhered in the Jami'at-e U!ama-e Hind. Despite his participation in 
political activities, the example of his seclusion, teaching and learning, 
writing of books, end regularity in saying She daily offices is scarcely 
met with. For years together he was a member of the Majlis-e Shura 
and the Executive Council of the Dor al-U!um, Bsoband. It was he who 
generally used to write the resolutions of 'heir meetings. 

In the late Zi!-hijja the teacher in the calligraphy department of the 
Dar af-UIum, Mauiana Ishtiaq Ahmed also went to glory- He was an 
expert writer of the Naskh and Nasta'liq scripts. Hundreds of his dis- 
ciples in ihe art of calligraphy are present in the- subcontinent. Through 
one medium he was a disciple of the famous caliigrapher Munshi Murrt- 
taz Ali Meeruthi. He had had a heart-felt attachment wi.h Hazrat 
Mauiana Nanautavi. He had simplified and explained most of Hazrat 
Nanautavi's books, which had been published under the supervision . 
the Dar al-Ulum. 


The day of 23rd Rabi al-Thcmi, A.H. 1396, will always be memo- 
rable in the history of the Dar c.l-Ulum as ihe day of the President of 
the Republic of India. On this very date the honourable President of 
India, Mr. Fakhr al-Din All Ahmed, a' the invitation of the Dar al-Ulum, 
came by helicopter. Besides the governor and chief-minister of U . P., 
some central and stale ministers also were with him. The president, 
according to the scheduled orogramme, went straight from the helipad 
to the graves of Hazrat Nanaulavi, Hazrat Shaikh al-Hind and Hazrat 
Mauiana Madani and remitied recompense to the departed souls. Fretiri 
there he went to the grave of Alloma Mauiana Muhammad Anwar Shah 
Kashmiri and recited the Ftiriha there. Then, after inspecting the Dar 
al-Ulum and its library, he at ended the tea-party given by the Dar al- 
Ulum. On this occasion, besides the governor and chief-minister of U.P., 
some central and state ministers, government officers, som= members of 
the Majlis-e Shura, teachers and heads' or the different departments of 
the Dar al-Ulum and many respect'a'Ble ci'izens of Deoband and other 
places were also present, 

After the tea-party was over, the honourable president went to the 
place of function, where Mauiana Hamid al-Ansari Ghazi, a member of 
the Mojiis-e Shura of the Dar al-Ulum, welcomed the president in his 
welcome-speech and sctfd : "This is the centre of divine doctors, men of 





learning, gnostics, and the valiant soldiers of the war of independence; 
this is the land of the martyrs of 1857, the land of the intrepid partici- 
pants of the Movement of Silken Letters. This institution is the citadel 
of the war of freedom, the historical centre of the freedom-fighters, and 
the largest Asiatic institution of the religious aris and sciences. This 
university, by its fetwas against the English power, had set thousands 
of men, on every front for the fight for freedom — in the Khilafat Move- 
ment, Jalianwala Bagh, Swaraj Movement — to the path of gaol and 

He further said : "The socialism and those fundamental rights, that 
is, the provision for food, clothing, housing, education and health, which 
are being mentioned today in the national and international laws and 
the charter of the U . N . O., had all been given in the Dar al-U!um a 
hundred years ago. The whole country can acquire light and guidance 
in this matter from the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband". 

After this welcome speech the respected vice-chancellor of the Dar 
al-Uium, Deoband, presented the address in which, mentioning the acade- 
mic and political services of the Dar al-Ulum, he said i— 

"The great founder of the Dar al-Ulum, Hujjat cti-lslam Hazrat Mau- 
lana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, determining resort-to-Allah and pub- 
lic co-operation as the basis of independent educational organisation in 
his eightfold principles, has instilled simple religious life, spiritual train- 
ing, patriotism, national integration and the guarding of national liberty, 
along with Islamic education, in the souls here. Consequently, the edu- 
cation and training of the Dar al-Ulum has produced great freedom- 
figh'lers whom the Hindus and Muslims of this place honour equally 
and, mixing with them sincerely, obtain guidance from them, in this 
manner this institution is the oldest and most respectable means of Islamic 
rapport for India". 

At the end, the honourable president, in his reply, said : "Thanks 
to Allah that He created us Muslims. We Muslims should see to it that 
we take the fullest part in national life as a self-respecting, active and 
effective element and develop our abilities to perfection". 

Complimenting the elders of the Dar, al-Ulum for their academic and 
political services, the honourable president said :— 

"They were those great leaders who, with their distinctive character, 
have served the country and the nation at every stage of the fight for 



freedom for one hundred, years. They did not demand any special right 
for their great services; they rather considered it merely their duty and 
augmented the historical dignity af the Muslims". 

The summary of the honourable president's speech is as under -.— 

This Dar al-Ulum is an important, great and historical religious 
university not only of India but also of the whole Islamic world. I have 
been much impressed by your sincerity and your Islamic simplicity and 
religious attachment. In the present age of progress these very values 
of humanness are getting scarce. 

Gentlemen! This our Dar al-U!um has been much more besides being 
a seminary. In the fight for freedom it was a centre of warriors and 
crusaders imbued with derring do. This my assertion is no exaggeration 
that in the struggle for the freedom of our dear native land the name 
of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has topped the list among all ihe reli- 
gious and national institutions in the country. Hence its historical and 
crusader-like role can never be forgotten. In the history of the indepen- 
dence of this country its name deserves to be inscribed in letters of gold. 

It was the result of the sincere and selfless academic and religious 
services of the founder of the Dar a!-Ulum, Maulana Muhammad Qasim 
Nanautavi and his other sincere compeers, divine doctors, crusaders and 
their successors that people in thousands benefitted from this instituiion, 
and through the offices and medium of these august men the candles of 
religious knowledge and thought were kindled in millions of homes. 


A century ago, on the one hand, under the auspices of Hazrat Haji 
Imdad Allah, pre-eminent personalities like Maulana Muhammad Qasim 
Nanautavi started the movement for religious education and on the 
other. Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan and his companions started the movement 
for modern education. Fundamentally, both these movements were the 
outcome of communal sympathy; there was no conflict between them. 
But the Dar al-Ulum had had this special distinction that it took part in 
the jihad for freedom prominently. Hence this institution is the cause 
of pride for every patriotic Indian. 


As far as Islam and Islamic teachings are concerned, you know it 
better than me that here there are many gentlemen whose entire lives 
have passed in understanding and explaining Islam and Islamic teach- 
ings. Thank God that He created us Muslims and enriched us with the 
live and lasting wealth of the principles of Islam. The foremost lesson 


Islam has given is that of Divine Unity (Tauhid) and has taught equality 
to the world. Thus it has taught the formula of uniting on the basis of 
the Unicity of the Kalima. Side by side with this, it has habituated us 
to physical health and cleanliness and purity of heart through its 5-time 
training. It taught us discipline and organisation, stressed upon centra- 
lity and clarified for us the importance of practice anJ piety along with 
knowledge. The Islamic commandments give guidance both for the reli- 
gion and the world. The prayer, along with the spiritual training, 
teaches the lesson of discipline and organisation. The fundamental prin- 
ciples Islam has taught are not temporary but are eternal. Can anyone 
deny the importance in this advanced period, of unity, organisation and 
discipline ? 

I was pleased to know that you have preserved and guarded the 
basic principles of the founder of the Dar al-Ulum and have tried to keep 
your educational system absolutely free of any untoward pressure and 
external interferences; and in this great institution, along with the impar- 
ting of religious education, have fostered the sacred sentiments of patrio- 
tism, national integration and preservation of the liberty of the country. 
These are the very traditions of which we all are proud; and it was cer- 
tainly the result of this very education and training that the teachers and 
taught of this universit/ took part exceedingly in the fight for freedom. 
Our august elders suffered the hardships of imprisonment and fetters. I 
am recollecting the prisoners of Malta — Maulana Mahmud Hasan and 
Maulana Husain Ahmed Madoni and their companions. The picture of 
their holy lives is revolving in my eyes and Maulana Hifz al-Rahman's 
crusader-like life is before my eyes. 

May God have mercy on these pure-natured divines 1 

In 1857 when the imperialists scrounged India as usurpers, rightly 
had the apprehension been created lest we, after having lost worldly 
position and pelf, might wash our hands of religious freedom. It was with 
this mixed feeling of religion and freedom of the country that under the 
auspices of Haji Imdad Allah this religious centre was established in 
1866. Hence, along with religious education the kindling of the candles 
of patriotism too has been one of its basic and important objectives. It is 
certainly very pleasing that side by side with religious education in the 
Dar ol-Ulum you have also made arrangements for the teaching of logic, 
philosophy, mathematics, medicine (Unani system), journalism, English 
■and Hindi; but I shall be more pleased if you pay attention to other sciences 
also. History is a witness that Muslims have always preceded in other 


You gentlemen know it too well that our great leaders, with great 
sagacity and farsightedness, had adopted the principle of secularism. 
According to our constitution every citizen has the liberty of opinion and 
conscience; in this constitution all citizens have equal rights. It is the demand 
of this constitution that the walls of inequalities are not allowed to obstruct 
the way of progress, that no discrimination is used with anyone on the 
basis of creed and religion, and no place is left for fanaticism and 
narrow-mindedness on the basis of language and region. All these are 
the same things which are consonant with the great and historical sermon 
of the Prophet of Islam, and which can be called the foremost charter of 

You have mentioned the Muslim Personal Law in the address. In this 
connection the prime-minister's and my own statements must have come 
to your notice in which ir has been clearly said a number of times that 
there is no question at all of briging change in the Personal Law as long as 
the Muslims themselves may not want it. As far as the questicn of Islam is 
concerned, guidance for every period is present in the holy Quran and 
the Muhammadan pattern (Uswa-e Muhammadi — Allah's peace and 
blessings be on him !). When this is our faith, we should today seek the 
solution of the problems in them only. In this centre of the ulema it will 
not be out of place if I remind that the fair teachings of Islam have come 
before the world with this claim that they are in consonance with nature 
and are a message of peace, prosperity and progress for humanity in 
every period and milieu; that advantage can be had from their humanism 
and benevolence in every era. Our world in the shadow of the vicissitudes 
of time is a vast field of changes. The demands of circumsiances and 
times go on changing. Life comes before us with new problems every 
day and we have to pu] up with it. Now this is the work of vigilant 
Ulema that, keeping themselves fully conscious of the circumstances, they 
present the sacred and extensive teachings of Islam so skilfully before 
the world that one may not feel any weakness in their agreeableness, 
advantageousness and effectiveness, and creatures of God may derive 
full benefit from their guidance. 

^Gentlemen ! From 1 866 to 1976 it is a period of one hundred and 
ten years. In this course of time the glorious services the Dar a!-Ulum has 
rendered to knowledge and learning and the valuable sacrifices it has 
made for the country are a very great achievement and it is my prayer 
that this benevolence of the Dar al-Ulum may continue for ever and 
ever" ! 




The tack of the Dar al-Ulum has been defined in the writings of the 
Dar al-Ulum as follows:— 

The tack of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, shall be in accordance with 
the Ahl al-Sunnah wai-Jama'ah, Hanafite practical method (mazhab), and 
the disposition (mashrab) of its holy founders, Hazrat Maulana 
Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi (Allah's mercy be on him !) and Hazrat 
Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi (may his secret be sanctified 1). 

The preservation of the tack of the Dar al-Ulum shall be a duty 
of all the members and kindred of ihe Dar al-Ulum; no employee or 
student of the Dar al-Ulum shall be permitted ta attend any such society, 
institution or function the attendance whereof may be injurious to the 
tack or interest of the Dar al-Ulum. 1 

As far as the religious attitude of the Dar a!-Ulum and its elders is 
concerned, it has been clearly stated in a very eloquent and concise 
manner by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Tayyib, vice-chancellor of the 
Dar al-Ulum, in his treatise entitled Maslak-e Ularnet-e Deoband. Its 
summary, more or less in his own words, is as follows s— 

"Academically this Wali Allahicn pariy is, by tack. Ah! al-Sunnah 
wal-Jama'ah, which is based on the Book, the Sunnah, consensus 
(ijm'a) and anaiagy (qtyas). According to it, the foremost position in all 
propositions (masa'il) is held by tradition (nctql), narration (riwayat) and 
the predecessors' 'historical traditions' (Athcfr), on which the entire 
building of religion rests. With it, the purports of the Book and the Sunnah 
can be determined not merely by the power of study but by being 
confined wishin the limits of the predecessors' saying and their 
bequeathed taste, and, ta boot, through the company of and attendance 
on the Shaikhs and their teachings and training. At ihe same time, 
intellect and knowledge (darayct) and discernment of religion (tafaqqoh 
fiddi'i), too, are, according to it, a very important factor in She under- 
standing of the Book and the Sunnah. Keeping the intent and purpose 
of the Legislator (peace be on him !) from amongst the collection of 
traditions (riwayat) before itself, it connects all the traditions to it and 
concatenates all of them gradewise at their respective places in such a 
way that they all look like links of the same chain. Hence the "colligation 

1. Dastur-e Asasi-e Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, articles 4-6 



of traditions" (Jem's bain al-riwayat) and the "condition of hadiihs" 
(tiilblq-e ahadith) at the time of mutual contradiction is its main principle 
the purport of which is that it does not want to leave or omit even the 
weakest of the weak traditions, so long as it is not fit to be protested 
agoinst, On this basis, in the sight of this party, contradiction and variance 
is not felt anywhere in the explicit legal texts; on the contrary, the entire 
religion, being free from contradiction and variance, looks like a bouquet 
in which academic and practical flowers of every hue look bloomming 
at their respective places. Along with this, self-purification (tazkiya-e 
nafs) and self-improvement (islah-e batin), in accordance with the 
manner of the wayfarers (ahl-e suluk), which is innocent of and free 
from formalities, usages and exhibitive rapture and discourse, are also 
necessary in this tack, it favoured its dedicated followers with the heights 
of knowledge as well as adorned them with human morals like slavehood 
I'ebetdiyat) and humility. If the members of this party, on the one hand, 
reached the heights of academic dignity, self-satisfaction (istaghna) — aca- 
demically — and self-content {ghina-e nafs) — morally — on the other, they 
were also abundantly invested with the humbling sentiments of 
complaisance, humility, self-denial and abstinence,- neither did they 
become a prey to arrogance, pride and self-conceit nor were involved in 
self-humiliation and wretchedness. While they, reaching the heights of 
knowledge and morality, began to look higher than the common run of 
men, at the same time,, adorned with the virtues of humility and sub- 
mission, humbleness and complaisancy and non-discrimination, they 
mixed freely with the masses and yet remained "unique among the 
people". While they sought seclusion for striving with the unregenerate 
soul (mujahada) and spiritual communion or contemplation (muraqaba), 
at the same time they also displayed warrior — and crusader-like zeal as 
also feelings for communal service. In short, through the mixed feelings 
and desires of knowledge and morality, seclusion and congregation 
{jalwat), striving and jihad, moderation and the golden mean became 
they distinctive feature in every religious circle; which is a natural 
corollary of the comprehensiveness of sciences and moderateness of 
morals. It is for this reason that among them the meaning of becoming 
a traditionist is not to be dispute with the jurisconsult or of being a 
jurisconsult is not to be disgusted with the traditionist; or the meaning 
of nisbat-e ahsani (predilection for sufism) is not to be hostile to the 
dialectician (mutakallim) or the meaning of acumen in dialectics is not 
to be weary of sufism. On the contrary, under this comprehensive tack, 
the graduate of this institution proved, by gradation, simultaneously a 
traditionist, a jurisprudent, a professional commentator of the Quran, a 
mufti, a dialectician, a sufi (muhsin), a physician and a protector 
(murabbi), in whom the mixed sentiments of abstinence and contentment 


sans beggarliness, modesty and self-effacement sans cajolement, com- 
passion and mercy with "enjoining the right conduct" lamr bil-ma'ruf) 
and "the forbidding of indecency" (nihi anil-munkar), composure of 
heart with communal service and "solitude in a crowd" (khnlwat eier 
nnjuman), became firm. On the other hand, the feelings of moderation, 
recognition of dues and the fulfilment of rights in regard to arts and 
sciences and the men of arts and sciences permeated in them as virtues 
of the self. Hence all the masters of learning and excellence and 
the well-versed scholars in all the branches of religion, whether they be 
traditionists or jurisprudents, sufis or gnostics, scholastic theologians or 
fundamentalists, the nobles of Islam or caliphs, all of them are worthy 
of respect and faith in their sight. To extol or run down any class of 
ulema or to be careless as regards legal limits in praise or censure is not 
the tack of this party. With this comprehensive method the Dar al-Ulum, 
by its academic services, diffused the light of the prophetic sciences from 
Siberia in the north to Java and Sumatra in the south and from Burma 
in the east to Arabia and Africa in the west, wherefore the thoroughfares 
of sacred morals became clearly visible. 

On the other hand, its scholars never shrank from political and 
national services, so much so that, from 1803 to 1947, the individuals 
of this porty offered in their own style the greatest possible sacrifices 
which are on record in the pages of history. The political and warrior-like 
sfrvices of these august men can never be concealed; particularly the 
events in the second half of the thirteenth century when the Mughal 
regime was tottering, the efforts for revolution, jihad-like steps and 
self-sacrificing struggle under the auspices especially of Shaikh 
al-Masha'ikh Hoji Imdad Allah for the national liberty and independence, 
and the imprisonment and bondage on arrest-warrants of his two 
favourite proselytes (murids), viz., Maulana Muhammad Qasim and 
Maulana Rasheed Ahmed and their dedicated followers and attendants, 
are such hislorical facts which can neither be denied nor thrown into 
oblivion. The people who wish to conceal them merely for the reason 
that they were themselves not accepted in the path of sacrifice will add 
to their own unpopularity. According to research scholars and those who 
are knowledgeable abou! this aspect of the Indian history, alt such 
writings whether emanating from one who may have some connection 
with Deoband or from a non-Deobandi that negate the jihad-like services 
of these august men are unreliable and absolutely unworthy of attention. 
If a favourable view is taken the utmost accounting of these writings 
can be only this much that these writings, as a result of the awesome 
factors of the time, are a demonstration of foresight and circumspection 
to the personal extent, otherwise, in view of the historical and factual 


evidences, they have neither any importance nor are worthy of 
consideration. The sequence of these services continuously went further 
ond with the same inherited feelings the well-guided successors of these 
elders also coniinued to come forward in a self-sacrificing manner in 
connection with national and communal services; whether it was the 
Khiiafat Movement or the release of the native land from the foreign 
yoke, they, in exact proportion to their position, took part in all these 
revolutionary ventures. 

In short, while the comprehensiveness of knowledge and mornls 
was always the distinctive feature of this party, service to religion and 
community, nation and country with breadth of vision, enlightenment 
and toleration was its practice. But in all these walks of life 'the utmost 
importance in this party has been given to the imparting of the prophetic 
sciences, as all these walks of life could be brought into effect correctly 
only in the light of knowledge and therefore it kept ihis aspect only 
conspicuous. Hence the summary of the comprehensiveness of this tack 
is that it is inclusive of knowledge and gnosis, inclusive of reason and 
love, inclusive of action and morals, inclusive of spiritual striving and 
jihad, inclusive of rectitude and politics, inclusive of tradition and 
intelligence, inclusive of seclusion (khaiwcet) and public appearance 
(jciwat), inclusive of devotions and social life, inclusive of commandment 
and wisdom, inclusive of the exterior and the interior, ond inclusive of 
ecstasy and discourse. If this tock which has been obtained through the 
spiritual connections (nisbas) of the predecessors and the successors is 
reduced to technical language, then in sum it is this that religiously the 
Dar a!-Ulum is Muslim; as a sect, Ahl-e Sunnah wal-Jama'ah; in practical 
method, (mazhab), Hanafite; in conduct, Sufi; dialectically, Maturidi 
Ash'ari; in respect of the mystic path, Chishtiyyah, rather comprising all 
the Sufi orders; In thought, Wali Allahian,- in principle, Qasimid; 
sectionally, Rasheedian; and as regards connection, Deobandi". 

Since a separate treatise entitled "Maslak-e Dar al-Ulum" has 
already been written in this connection, the need of greater detail is 
not felt on this occasion and iis comprehensive sentences only have been 
excerpted here. For details, one can refer to the said treatise. 

Moreover, greater detail here is unnecessary for the reason that a 
very clear sketch of this tack has been written by Qari Sahib in his 
introduction to this' history. However, a synopsis of this extensive article 
was necessary and so, at my request, he wrote it himself and gave me. 
The verbatim text is as under :— 


"The summary of it is that this moderate tack is based on seven hasic 
foundations, which, with brief elucidation of each, are as follows:— 

1 - KNOWLEDGE OF THE SHARI'AH : Which includes ail the branches 
of beliefs, devotions and worldly dealings, etc., the outcome of which is 
faith (iman) and Islam,- provided this knowledge may have been acquired, 
being restricted to the sphere of the sayings and practices of the 
predecessors, through the teaching; training and grace of the company 
of authoritative divine doctors and discipliners of ihe hearts whose chain 
of exterior and interior, knowledge and practice, understanding and 
taste may have continuously reached through continual authority to the 
Author of the Shari'ah {on whom be most excellent blessings and 
greetings P; and may not be the result of self-opinion or mere book- 
reading and power of study or mere rational search and intellectual 
investigation, though it may not be devoid of rational style of description 
and argumentative proof and demonstration, for without 1 his knowledge, 
distinguishing between right and wrong, legitimate and illegitimate, 
permissible and impermissible, the sunnab end the innovation, the 
abominable (makruh) and the commendable (mandoob) is not possible 
nor is release possible from wild fancies, philosophical theories and blind 
superstitions in religion. 

2 - THE FOLLOWING OF THE PATH j That is, consummation of good 
breeding, self-purification and spiritual traversing (suluk-e batin) within 
the auspices of researching Sufis and their well-tried principles {inferred 
from the Book and the Sunnah), because, without this, moderateness in 
morals, stability of zest and ecstasy, internal insight, mental purity and 
observation of reality are not possible. It is obvious that this branch is 
connected with Ahsan along with faith and islam. 

3 - CONFORMITY TO THE SUNNAH : That is, conformance to the 
prophetic sunnah in every walk of life and dominance of the permanent 
sunnah through maintaining respect of the shari'ah in every 'state' (hal) 
and 'utterance' (qal), every condition of the exterior and the interior; 
for without it it is impossible to be released from the conventions of 
ignorance, customary innovations and prohibited indecencies, and from 
the calamity of customarily imitating ihe ecstatic utterances and sayings 
of 'men of states' inspite of the lack of spiritual states or giving those 
utterances the status of a permanent general law parallel to the shari'ah. 

4 - JURISPRUDENTIAL HANAFIT1SM : The name of Islamic practical 
doctrines (fra'iyat) and casuistic interpretations of laws (ijtehadiyest) is 
Fiqh (jurisprudence). And since the elders of the Dar al-Ulum are 


generally Hanafite, the meaning of jurisprudential Hanafitism is com- 
pliance with the Hanafite jurisprudence in casuistic practical doctrines, 
and conformance to its principles of jurisprudence only in the education 
and preference of propositions and fetwas; for without it elusion from 
the desires of the evil self in educible propositions and, through the way 
of colligation, operating capriciously under different systems of juris- 
prudence, excision in the contents of propositions in accordance with 
the desires of the Woi polloi or guess and conjecture under the awe of 
emergency conditions and shallow changes and innovations in proposi- 
tions through unlearnedness are unavoidable. It is obvious that this 
branch appertains to Islam. 

5 — DIALECTICAL MATURIDUSM : That is, as regards beliefs, the 
sustentation of the power of certitude and the stability of true beliefs 
with right thinking in accordance to the laws and principles determined 
and codified through the method of the Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah and 
the Asha'ira and the Maturidia; for without it escape from the doubts 
cast by the tergiversators and the conjectural innovations, superstitions 
and skepticism of the false sects is not possible. It is evident that this 
branch is connected with faith (iman). 

defence against the mischiefs raised by bigoted cliques and tergiversators, 
but in the language and expression of the time, with consciousness of 
the psychology of the milieu and through the contemporary familiar 
means where the argument or proof may be completed. Moreover, 
efforts with a crusader-like spirit for stamping them out, for without these 
the removal of the unlawful things (munkiarat) and protection of the 
Shari'ah from the encroachment of the antagonists is not possible. It 
includes refutation of polytheism and innovation, confutation of atheism 
and materialism, correction of the customs of ignorance, and, as per 
need, polemics, verbal or in writing, and the changing of unlawful things. 
It is obvious that this branch is concerned with the elevation of the Word 
of Allah in accordance with "While Allah's word it was that became the 
uppermost/' and the expression of religion be in accordance with "He 
may cause it to prevail over all religion" and the general organisation of 
the community. 

same tack, with its collec'ive dignity, appeared after passing through the 
hearts and souls of the first patrons, of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and 
the feelers of the pulse of the community, it drew in the demands of the 
time in it and adopted the form of a particular taste which has been 


denoted with the word 'mashrab' (disposition, nature, temper, conduct). 
Accordingly, in the basic constitution of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband 
(Dc.stur-e Asasi-e Dar al-Ulum, Deoband), which was approved in Sha'ban, 
A.H. 1368, this reality has been stated; in the following words: "The tack 
of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, will be the Hanafite practical method 
(mazhab) in accordance with the Ahl al-Sunnah wcl-Jama'ah and the 
disposition (mashrab) of its holy founders, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad 
Qasim Nanautavi and Hazrat Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi (may 
their secrets be sanctified I}". (Dastur-e Asasi, p. 6), 

Hence among the constituents of the tack of the Dar al-Ulum this 
factor is an important element on which the establishment of ihe 
education and training of the Dar ol-Ulum is working. It comes under 
Ahsan (God-consciousness), while it is connected with spiritual training. 
Thus the knowledge of the Shari'ah, the following of the Path, conformity 
to the Sunnah, Jurisprudential Hanafitism, dialectical Maturidiism, 
defence against deviation, and the taste for Qasimism and Rasheedism 
are the constituents of this moderate tack which answers well to "seven 
ears, in every ear a hundred grains" (II : 261). If these "seven ears" 
are expressed in shara'i language, they can be interpreted as Iman 
(faith), Islam, Ashan and Izbcr-e Din (demons ration of religion 1 , as has 
been indicated itemwise above. The collection of all these seven articles 
with the above-mentioned details is the tack of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. 
if it is mused over, this tack will be found to be an exact epitome of the 
Hadith-e Jibra'il in which, on Gabriel's questioning, the Holy Prophet 
(Allah's peace and blessings be on him!) has described Islam, Iman, Ahsan 
and defence against mischiefs in detail and has called it the teaching 
of religion. Hence it will not be inappropriate if it is said that the tack 
of the ulema of Deoband is Hadith-e Jibra'il itself. 

The axact translation of the text of the Hadith-e Jibra'il is as under :— 
It is reported from Hazrat Umar bin Khattab (radi Allah anh=!) : 
One day we were present in the Holy Prophet's (sallallaho 'alaih-e via 
sailm !) majlis when suddenly a man wearing very white clothes and very 
black hair appeared. There neither did appear any sign of journey on 
him nor any one of us knew him; until he sat down near the Holy Prophet 
and joined both of his knees to the Holy Prophet's and putting both of 
his hands on his own or the Holy Prophet's thighs, he questioned : 
"O Muhammad ! Tell me about Islam". "Islam is this", replied he, "that 
you testify that there is no deity besides Allah and that Muhammad is 
Allah's apostle; and establish prayer, pay zakat, fast during the month 
of Ramazan, and, if you can afford it, perform the pilgrimage". That man 
said; "You said the truth". Hazrat Umar says that "we were surprised 
that he was putting question and was also confirming him". Thereafter 


that man said : "Tell me about Iman (faith)". He replied: "Failh is this 
that you believe fully in Allah, his angels, His Books, His prophets, the 
Last Day, and the good and evil fate". That man remarked : "You said 
the truth". Then lhat man said: "Tell me about ahsan (consciousness 
about Allah)". He replied : "Ahsan is this that you worship Allah in such 
a way as if you are seeing him, and if you are not seeing him then He 
is certainty seeing you". Then that man said : "Tell me about She 
Doomsday", He replied : "The man who is being asked this question 
does not know more about it than the questioner". That man said: "Please 
tell me about its portents". He replied: "Amongst portents is this that 
from the womb of the slave-maid may be born her master and that you 
may see the bare-footed, bare-bodied, indigent goatherds vying with 
each other in raising tall buildings". Hazrat Umar says : "Thereafter that 
man went away and ! tarried long". Then the Holy Prophet 
(sallallaho cslath-e wa sallam :) said: "Umar! Do you know who this 
questioner was"? I said : "Allah and His apostle know more". He said : 
''He was Gabriel who had ccme to teach you your religion". 

This narration is Muslim's. Hazrat Abu Huraira has also narrated it 
with a slight variance in which ihe words are: "When you see bare-footed, 
bare-bodied, deaf and dumb people as rulers ever the earth; and the 
Day of Doom is one of those five things which none knows save Allah". 
And then he received the following verse : "Lo! Allah 1 - With Him is know- 
ledge of the Hour. He sendeth down the rain, and knoweth that which is 
in the wombs. No soul knoweth what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul 
knoweth in what land it will die. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware" (XXXI : 34), 

Then the basis and foundation of all hese basic elements are the 
Book of Allah, the Sunnah of the Apostle of Allah, the consensus of the 
ummah, and the casuistic analogy, out of which the first two proofs are 
legislative (fashrt'i) with which the Shariah is formed and the last two 
are derivative • (tafri'i) by which the Shariah is opened The first two 
proofs are the treasure of explicit texts which are tradiiional, for which 
authority (sanand) and narration (riweyat) are inevitable,- the next 
two proofs are rational for which trained reason and understanding 
and habitually pious mind and taste are ineluctable. Hence this 
moderale tack is traditional as well as rational, narrative as well 
as intelligential; but in such a way that it is neither extraneous to 
reason nor based upon it, but has been rather raised in such a way with 
a balanced mixture of reason and tradition that tradition and revelaiion 
(wahy) are the root in it and reason is its all-time attendant and agent. 

Thus this tack of the ulema of Deoband is neither the tack of the 
rationalist Mutazilites in which, acknowledging reason to be sovereign 
and master over tradition, reason has been made the root and revela ion 

theijtema. word press, com 


or its meaning its subject, whereby religion is rendered a mere philosophy, 
the paths of atheism (zandaqa) are made even for the rank and file and 
at the same time the connecfion of the simple-minded faithful with the 
religion does not remain intact. Nor is this tack that of the externalists 
(zahiriya) in which dead-locked or being inert over the words of 
revelation, reason and intellect have been thrown into abeyance, and, 
bidding adieu to ihe esoteric causes and mysteries and inner points of 
wisdom and experiencies of religion, all the ways of ijtehad and inference 
have been blocked, whereby religion is rendered something unreal, 
rather, something meaningless, unreasonable and static, and the wise 
and the sagacious then have no more relation wiih it. Thus in one tack 
there is left reason and reason alone and in the other reason becomes 
suspended and idle, it is obvious that both these directions are of the 
two extremes and of "whose case hah been abandoned" {XVIII : 29) from 
which this middle, comprehensive and moderate religion is free. Hence 
this alone is the tack that includes both reason and tradition and it can 
be this only that in all roots and offshoots common sense should always 
remain with authenlic tradition, but as an obedient and compliant 
attendant and agent of the religion so that it may keep supplying rational 
proofs, reasonable arguments and perceptible evidences and examples 
for each of its generalities and details whereby religion may prove 
acceptable for every class of the ummah an all-sided constitution of life, 
and this ummah may look a correct answer to "Thus We have appointed 
you a middle nation" (II : 143). This tack alone is called the tack of the 
Ahl al-Sunnah wai-Jama'ah and the uiema of Deoband are the heralds 
and standard-bearers of this very tack. 1} is for this reason that on 
account of the culmination of this comprehensive tack and all these 
religious sciences, they are simultaneously commentators of the Quran as 
well as traditionists, jurisprudents as well as scholastic theologians, 
sufis as well as strivers with the self (mujahid!) and ihinkers; and then, 
with the amalgamation of all these sciences, their disposition is temperate 
as well as medium. This is the reason thai in their party disposition there 
is neither extremism (ghuiu) nor exaggeralion (mubctligha), and due to 
this breadth of vision there is neither anathematizing (takfir) nor scurrility, 
neither obloquy nor ill-speaking against anyone, neilher obstinacy and 
envy and indignation nor dominance of position and pelf and excess of 
luxury. It is rather only a statement of proposition and reformation of the 
ummah, or the establishment of the truth and refutation of the falsehood, 
in which there is neither involved the despising and disparagement of 
personalities nor is there arrogant flouting. The name of the sum-total 
of the same virtues and particulars is Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and it is 
due to this very academic and practical versatility that its influence has 
spread over all the countries of the world. 



Here the question arises that this momentous concept of establishing 
the Dar al-Ulum in an ordinary townlet apparently looks very astonishing 
and its developing to its present stage is still more conducive to astonish- 
ment. It is obvious that some great, famous and well-known place 
should have been proposed for such a great religious centre. Moreover, 
soon after, almost contiguous to, the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum, 
Madrasah Mazahir-e Ulum at Saharanpur, Madrasah Qasim al-Ulum 
at Moradabad and Madrasa-e tslami a\ Meerut had been established, 
and, compared to Deoband, all these three places had had more centrality 
and importance. Over and above this, the providing of educational neces- 
saries and equipment in a small and obscure place like Deoband was 
also very difficult. Deoband is neither an extraordinary place of com- 
merce nor a habitation of the rich and the affluent with the support of 
whose wealth such a great project could be accomplished. The railway 
line too which is the greatest means of transport was not present at that 
time. 1 

Along with this when it is considered that at the time the Dar al- 
Ulum was established, Persian language and old arts and sciences pre- 
valent in the country till then through which all sorts of services and 
worldly advantages and honours were received had been replaced by 
English which had been made the official language and now to acquire 
the old sciences instead of English was as though to deprive oneself 
knowingly of all the mundane gains and honours. Hence the greatest 
motivation for the acquirement of knowledge was now in favour of the 
English language instead of the old sciences. Accordingly, many people 
had an apprehension at the time of the establishment of the Dar 
al-Ulum as to from where the students would come. On the one hand 
were such spirit-damping difficulties and, on the other, the English govern- 
ment looked upon with doubt and suspicion the schools which the Muslims 
opened for their own religious education. As for the Arabic schools and 
the Dar al-Ulum particularly the English were of the opinion that 
"admitting people of the North-west Frontier Province on the pretext of 
education, it is a centre of conspiracy to incite the free tribes against the 
British government". Incipiently for long time this matter was being 
openly and secretly investigated (as you have already seen in the 
seieond chapter a report of a confidant of the governor of U.P.). The ulema 

1. The present Northern Railway which was formerly called North-western Railway 
had started after the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum. Its construction was 
completed in December, 1868 and it started functioning in January 1369. 
(Tarikh-e Saharanpur, p. 28). 


were commonly called "religious fanatics" and were looked upon as a 
dangerous volcano for the state. 

Under such circumstances if the Muslims, paying attention on the 
one hand, to ,heir religious education were to be deprived of worldly 
gains, it was, on the oiher, to make iheir political position suspect. 
Consequently the aristrocratic class among the Muslims which always used 
to be in ihe vanguard of educational affairs was continuing to avoid, 
because it was proximate to the government, helping the Dar al-Ulum. 
After the tumultuous revolution of 1857 there was no scarcity of such 
people in the country who were bent upon making hay while the sun 
shone: to curry favour wi.h their new masters and win rewards from 
them as well as to settle old scores, these people had adopted the des- 
picable business of levelling wrong and false charges, and the Muslims, 
every now and then, used to be victims of hardships and misfortunes at 
their hands. When we read aboui the great services of the elders of 1he 
Dar al-Ulum in the yearly reports, the intellect is amazed as to how 
tremendous capacities were present in our predecessors and elders at a 
time when all the ways of accepting them had been blocked and yet they 
contended with a hostile milieu out and out and continued their services 

Whalever may be the point of view of the philosophy of history in this 
regard, the men of insight know that ihe whys and wherefores of every 
thing are not only material but something else also. The condition of the 
Dar al-Ulum is also somewhat like this. In its life it had to face numerous 
difficulties buT Divine Will continued to help it at every opportune hour 

and each step of it kept advancing towards progress towards 


The excellent results produced by the continual struggle of the Dar 
al-Ulum for more than a century for the elevation of Islam and the bet- 
terment of the life of the Muslim community cannot be denied by any 
fust person. Even today the caravan of the Dar at-Ulum, with unceasing 
engrossment and sincere exertion., praise be to Allah, is marching ahead 
day by day, academic circles and religious spheres are widening from 
day to day, religious literature is coming out ceaselessly, and missionary 
efforts and the conveying of the religious message to the common run of 
Muslims and the work of familiarizing them with religious values are on 
the increase every day. For instance, the respected vice-chancellor's tours 
to the countries of Asia, Africa and Europe add a typically important 
chapter to the history of the Dar al-Ulum. 

It will not be inapt to point out here that the countries and places 
where religious schools founded on the footsteps of the Dar al-Ulum are 
functioning on the right lines, the position of Islam and the Islamic ethos 
are safe to a great extent. 



The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is a great central and religious teaching 
institution of the Muslims of Asia which has been rendering for a period 
of more than 114 years the service for the reviving and progress of reli- 
gious sciences like Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Kalam, culture, morality, etc. 

After the collapse of the Mughal sultanate in India when the English, 
in view of their own political expediencies, had altogether abolished the 
old institutions teaching the Islamic arts and sciences, at ihat time not 
only for the survival of the Islamic arts and sciences and the Islamic cul- 
ture but also for keeping Muslims as Muslims, it was an urgent need of 
the time to establish a great teaching institution on great foundations in 
order to protect the Indian Muslims from the great threatening mischief 
of atheism and irreligiousness. The responsibility of preserving Islam 
then devolved on the band of ulema and the land of India is a witness 
that they did not show any dereliction in discharging their duty in time. 

Thanks to Allah Most High that these expectations were fulfilled in 
full measure and in a short time the fame of the Dar al-Ulum reached its 
apogee and before long it became an international university, not only p 

of the Indian Muslims but also of the Muslims of Afghanistan, Central 
Asia, Indonesia, Malayosia, Burma, Tibet, Sri Lanka and the countries of 
East and South Africa; now around one and a half thousand students from 
India and outside India flock to it every year. 

The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is not merely a teaching institution; if 
is infaci a movement, an independent school of thought, a shoreless sea 
from which, besides those of India, Pakistan and Bangla Desh, students 
from the whole of Asia and east and south Africa are acquiring know- 
ledge. Almost all the teachers in all the religious schools that exist today 
in the subcontinent are directly or indirectly those who have benefitted 
from the Dar al-Ulum and every year hundreds of students graduating 
from here, discharge the duty of propagating religion through leaching, 
preaching, sermonising and compiling of books and now this range has 
spread upto Europe, England and America. 

The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has rendered yeoman service in taking 
the Muslims of the sub-continent to a distinguished position in their reli- 
gious life. It is not only an international educational centre but is also 
such a centre of intellectual development, cultural evolution and com- 
munal aspirations that the Muslims have always had confidence in and 
pride over its authentic knowledge and high ethos. Even as the Arabs 
had once saved the sciences of the Greeks from being wasted, the 


Dar al-Uium, Deoband, has similarly rendered invaluable services to the 
Islamic sciences, particularly to the science of Hadith, in the present 
times, which is a golden achievement in the academic history of Islam. 

The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has not only provided prodigi*us means 
of maintaining and preserving the religious sciences and Islamic values in 
India, but it has also cast, at the end of the thirteenth and beginning of 
the fourteenth ceniuries hijri, very far-reaching and fruitful influences. 
Discomfited in the uproarious revolution of 1857, the Muslims had 
been overcome with great depression and pessimisim. A dreadful 
howling wilderness was rampant in their academic and cultural envi- 
ronments. Had the Dar al-Ulum been not established and had it not 
served as a torch in .hose dark times, it is difficult to say what would have 
been the Indian Muslims' history today. 

In short, the glorious services the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has been 
rendering for the last one century in respect of the religious education, 
preaching and sermonising, correction of beliefs and morals and the 
conservation of religion, are not hidden from anyone today. The gra- 
duates of the Dar al-Ulum, accordingly, are busy in many countries in 
giving religious guidance to Muslims and in teaching, preaching and re- 
forming. In the words of Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi; "The rapport 
which the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum have with the common Muslims 
is not had by any other religious group. A network of Arabic madrasahs 
has spread ail over India and the ulema and graduates of this institution 
are gracing the masnads of teaching in them. They are considered trust- 
worthy among the Muslim masses and are influenzal in the mosques and 
the mohallas (localities)". 1 

So howevermuch the Muslims of the sub-continent exult over the 
eixistence of the Dar at-Ulum, it will not be improper. 

After the start of the British system of education in India when a 
new culture and a new era was beginning here, the elders of the Dar 
al-Ulum opportunely felt the necessity and importance of the Muslims' 
religious education. With public co-operation and the common Muslim's 
donations they started the movement for relirjious education and the 
establishment of Islamic madrasahs. By Allah's grace and favour this 
movement of theirs gained popularity amongst the Muslims with the 
result that religious schools were started at many places in the sub- 
continent and a network of which spread all over India before long and 
has been widening day by day. 

1. Asr-e Jadtd ka Challenge by Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi, o. 36, 



During the incipient period of the Dar al-Ulum itself the image had 
been formed about the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum that soon after 
their graduating from it respectable means of livelihood come by their 
way. Accordingly it is stated in ihe report for the year A.H. 1298: "It is 
not so that after graduation from the Dar al-Ulum the students might 
have to become victims of economic distress as it was being thought by 
some people at the time of the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum. On 
the contrary, Allah Most High has bestowed great honour, value and 
position on the students of this place. The students who graduate from here 
are held in high esteem by the high and the low and economically too 
they are usually well-off, receiving Rs. 15]- to Rs. 75j- as monthly salary". 1 

The invaluable services rendered by the graduates of the Dar 
al-Ulum in the fields of education and preaching, edification, writing 
of fetwas, polemical disputations, journalism, oratory and discussion, 
medical practice and theory, are not restricted to any particular region 
but have spread, besides each and every state of India and Pakistan, to 
even foreign countries. If a survey is made of the services rendered by 
the Dar al-Ulum in the sub-continent during this period of 114- years, it 
will be known that it has sent its well-guided sons to each and every 
part of these countries. There they shone like the sun and the moon and 
rescuing the creatures of God from the darkness of ignorance enriched 
them with the light of knowledge. A statewise list of a 100-year period, 
from A.H, 1283 to A.H. 1382, of the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum of 
Indict, Pakistan and Bangla Desh is given below. The number of students 
who benefitted from the' Dar al-Ulum but could not graduate is besides 






1. Rudad-e Jalsa-e In'am, A.H. 1298, p. 15. 



No. State 

1. Andhra Pradesh 

2. Assam & Manipur 

3. Bihar & Orissa 

4. Delhi 

5. East Punjab 

6. Gujarat 

7. Jammu & Kashmir 
3. Kerala 

9, Madhya Pradesh 

10. Maharashtra 
1 1 . Mysore 

12. Rajasthan 

13. Tamilnadu (Madras) 

14. Travancore 

15. Utter Pradesh 

16. West Bengal 


No. of Graduates 

















The total figure of the graduates of India from 

A.H. 1283 to A.H. 1396 3611 

Full total. 


It is that figure of the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, who 
belong to India. From the chart of the foreign students who benefitted 
from the Dar al-Ulum it will be known that the Dar al-Uium benefitted 
not only the subcontinent with its academic graces but the Islamic 
countries of Asia and Africa were also not deprived of its resplendence. 
A 114-year list of these foreign graduates, from A.H. 1283 to A.H. 1396, 
is as under :— 







































Russia including 




Saudi Ara 







South Africa 



Sri Lanka 










Total 1116- 

The collective figure of the graduates of India and outside India is 
as follows :— 

1. India 7403 

2. Pakistan 1523 

3. Bangla Desh 1672 

4. Difereni countries 1672 

. Total 11714 

Besides the certified graduates of the Dar ai-Ulum the estimate of 
those students who benefitted from the Dar ai-Ulum is as under :— 

Thus the whole total comes to: 70024. * 

And if the graduates and beneficiaries of the madrasahs established 
by the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, are also counted indirectly 
as the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum itself — and factually they are gra- 
duates of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, — then the number of the graduates 
and beneficiaries of the Dar at-Ulum, Deoband, runs into millions through 
whom the religious and academic benefaction of the Dar al-Ulum, Deo- 
band, has reached crores of people. 

1. This estimate is upto A.H. 1382. The figures of the later 13 years are being 



Whatever work the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum, during their time 
and in accordance with their taste and manner, did or are doing indivi- 
dually or collectively in one or the other branch of religion will be shown 
from the following chart, bringing home the fact that the Dar al-Ulum, 
Deoband, as a leaching institution has produced all sorts of graduates 
who have and are working in different walks of life. From these statis- 
tics of the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum it; will be estimated what type of 
services the old boys of the Dar al-Ulum have rendered. These statistics 
are with regard 1o performance; i.e., if one individual^ has performed five 
or six types of work, his name has been counted in each such work. 
These statistics cover a 100-year period, from the beginning of the Dar 
al-Ulum, i.e., A.H. 1283 to A.H. 1382:- 

Between A.H. 1283 to A.H. 1382 the Dar al-Ulum produced ;- 

536 Shaikhs of the Path, 
5888 teachers, 
1 1 64 authors, 
1784 muftis, 
1540 polemics, 

684 journalists, 
4288 sermonisers and preachers, 
288 hakims, 

748 graduates with craft and in- 
dustry who rendered religi- 
ous services along with 
their commercial dealings. 

And the old boys of the Dar)al-Ulum established 8936 madrasahs and 

The number of those gentlemen who altained high positions in the 
above-mentioned works is as under :— 



Teachers & Lectures 




















Sermonisers & 








In short, the Dar a!-Ulum, Deoband, arranged such a bouquet of its 
graduates in which parti-coloured and multi-coloured flowers are 
providing by their fragrance the means of exhiliration and delight to the 
smelling-sense of ihe soul. Who is not aware of this reality that students 
alone are the true reservoir of a people's strength? There is no dearlh of 
promising young men among the Muslim community. There are however 
today countless young men and children who do have an eagerness and 
penchant for studies but financial difficulties come in their way. They 
want to walk but cannot walk; they wish to advance but cannot advance; 
they desire to come up but cannot come up; and yet the very same young 
men and children will constitute our future tomorrow. Feeling this 
helplessness and encumbrance, the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, and all the 
other seminaries founded in its wake, have opened the thoroughfares for 
the prosecution of studies for the students of religious sciences by making 
education free along with free facilities for food, clothing and lodging; 
and have removed all those obstacles and shackles which came in the 
way of acquiring education. The point of view of the religious schools 
is that the true key for the treasure of the world is the key of religion. 
Those prosecuting studies in the religious schools with this point of view 
are undoubtedly living a successful life. As far os the demand for their 
services in tht subcontinent is concerned, it is increasing day by day. In 
this respect the future of the graduates of the religious schools is bright 
and satisfactory. After completing their education whichever walk of life 
the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum selected for themselves, they were 
successful in it; and the complaint of unemployment is being rarely heard 
about them, although among the students of modern education this 
complaint of joblessness is quite common. 

In its mare-than-ane-hundred-year history the Dar al-Ulum, on the 
one hand, has given the Indian Muslims a progressive consciousness of 
social life and, on the other, a counterbalance between thought and 
action. If a class of Muslims today has adopted a rational interpretation 
of Islamic views, a satisfactory elucidation of Islamic thoughts, and a 
correct Islamic fife, it is mainly the result of the more-than-one-hundred- 
year-old academic and practical struggle of the Dar al-Ulum. Contrary to 
the common reports the religious proclivity here has never been 
reactionary and obscurantist. 

The Dar al-Ulum, while grasping its basic principles firmly, has, in 
changing circumstances, always sided with the spirit of the age, as far as 
the Islamic principles permit. In this respect it can be said that the Dar 
al-Ulum is an educational institute which has been established on a 


beautiful confluence of the old and the new, and its more-than-hundred- 
year-old glorious traditions are a herald of its brilliant past and a 
messenger of its great future. 


There is no, doubt about it that the Muslims, due to their infirmities, 
bidding farewell to sovereignty, had set seal to the decision of death of 
their collective life. But Divine Will wanted to preserve them. This required 
religious warmth which has always been the fountain-head of the 
Muslims' progress. The land of Deoband was chosen for this fountain- 
head. Accordingly, for centuries this land was being given good tidings 
through the auspicious tongues of Hazrat Mujaddid Alf-e Thani and 
Hazrat Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed that it would become the cradle of 
prophetic sciences. Most probably it was for this reason that the 
gentlemen who took part in the founding and establishing of the Dar 
al-lHum were not only adorned with external sciences but their hearts 
were also the reservoirs and reflectors of the effulgences of divine lights, 
and who had been especially appointed through special inspiration for 
the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum. Hazrat Qazi Muhammad Isma'il 
Manglori who has been one of the great saints, says : "The Dar al-Ulum, 
Deoband, the Mazahir-e Ulum of Saharanpur and the Madrasa-e Shahi of 
Moradabad are not among those madrasahs which are being established 
by chance; these madrasahs have been established through special 
inspirations". 1 

Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed, the fifth vice-chancellor of the 
Dar al-Ulum, writes in one of his memoranda that 

"In this world of causes whatever fame, respect, high position, 
esteem, progress and popularity this madrasah has achieved is sheerly 
Allah's bounty and special favour to this madrasah. From the inception 
this madrasah has received the patronage of such favourites of the 
Divine Court and training of such special men of God through whose 
internal and external 'confrontation' (tawajjuh, a technique of contempla- 
tion, concentrating one's being upon someone; Translator) this madrasah 
day by day achieved every kind of progress. Sincerity in the members, 
unity among the teachers, good and prosperiiy (baraka) in every matter 
and the hourly progress, etc., etc. — all these things are a sign of the 

1. Ulama-o Hmd ka Shandar Mazi, pt. v, p. 64. 


confrontation of the same august men and trust in Allah of ihe same 
benefactors". 1 

There is no doubt about this fact that whatever has been Allah's 
dealing wiih this ummah and even as He has helped it repeatedly in 
the past, this time also the divine miracle appeared. In the light of 
the philosophy of history this event can be put into these words >hat this 
was a natural reaction to ihe unfavourable circumstances which shook 
the Muslims' mental faculties out of their sleep and revivified them. 

It is very necessary to know here os to what kind of results and 
fruits of education and training of the Dar al-Ulum were produced among 
ihe Indian Muslims and other Islamic countries, for the true criterion of 
the success of anything can be only its consequences and results. In this 
connection, a long time back, the famous Urdu daily, Zatnindar, of 
Lahore, had written the following about ihe Dar al-Ulum, Deoband :— 

"At this time a large number among the personalities well-versed in 
religious sciences seen in the length and breadth of India consists of 
those who have come out assuaged from this river of knowledge 
(Dar al-Ulum, Deoband). All the great ulema of India have been 
students of 1 his glorious madrasah and infact no other teaching 
institute in India can compete with it in the valuableness of academic 
services. Not only this, but in foreign countries also, except one or two, 
there is no other seminary which can stand comparison with it and 
which may have rendered such important services to the bright 
Islamic nation". 2 

The Dar af-Ulum, Deoband, had been established at a time when 
the madrasahs for religious education had altogether become extinct in 
India and that time looked like approaching when vis-a-vis the modern 
education and its influences in India the light of religious education. 
Islamic commandments and religious usages might have been lost or at 
least might have got bedimmed. During those tumultuous times it was 
the Dar al-Ulum which steadied the tossing and teetering boat of the 
communily and hence as far as the renascence of the social life of the 
Muslims is concerned, it can be said off hand that a large part of its 
history is connected with the skirt of the continual educational and 
missionary struggle of the Dar al-Ulum. In the long life of the Dar al-Ulum 


good many storms of accidents 


and a good 




Yad-dasht Banam-e Arakin-e Shura, 

the files of the Majlis-e Shura. 
Zamindar, daily. Lahore, dated June 

24, 19 





included in 




occurred in the politics and conditions of the csuntry, but this institution, 
remaining unruffled, continued to fulfil wi,h utmost perseverence and 
steadiness the objectives with which it had come into existence. It is a 
fact that during these tumults of thought and ideas and in the period of 
movements steeped in the mischief of the West, had there been no 
existence of the Arabic schools generally and that of an academic 
institution like the Dar af-Ulum particularly, then it is ineffable in what 
gigantic maelstrom of inertia and insensitiveness the Muslims would have 
been engulfed. 

In guidance and inculcation, preaching and commemoration (taikir), 
education and training and in improving the people there is no corner 
where the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum may not be busy and may not 
have played an important role in reforming and training the Muslim 
community. The splendour of the great functions and gatherings held for 
the call to and guidance of religion, and preaching and sermonising, at 
present in India is due to the presence of the honourable ulema of the 
same, Dar al-Ulum; the seats of teaching in all the big Islamic madrasahs in 
the country today are being graced by these very gentlemen. As regards 
educational thought and practice the Dar al-Ulum has always traversed 
a particular tack. This tack fully reflects the light of its intelligence and 
perspicacity and its unders!anding of the times; and not only at that time 
but even after a pretty long time a large body of our educational experts 
was unable to understanel it. However, the turn of events at last brought 
the sincerity of action of the Dar al ■ Ulum into full relief like a sunny day, 
so much so that even those circles in which the Dar al-Ulum had been 
opposed vehemently had to acknowledge its necessity and services. 
Accordingly, once when its opponents had started a movement to get 
the financial help it was receiving from Hyderabad (Deccan) cut off, Sir 
Ross Mas'ud who was then the education minister in the Hyderabad State, 
opposing the said movement, had written: "Although we are striving for 
the dissemination of the English language, even as our effort for the 
betterment of our worldly economic life is correct, the existence of 
Deoband (Dar al-Ulum) for our religious need is also necessary". 1 

Khwaja Khali! Ahmed Shah, the keeper of the famous saintly 
shrine (dargah) of Hairat Sayyid Salar Mas'ud Ghazi at Bhara'rch (U.P.) 
writes :— 

"The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is a, matchless centre of Islamic sciences 
not only in India but also in the whole world and it has had a special 

1. H!Sl=e Ehtemam No. 103, of A.H. 1350, 


class in the world next to the Jama-e Azhar. This is the madrasah which 
has caused to flow the rivers of Islamic Arabic sciences in India, Its 
graduates are engaged in each and every corner of India in education 
and Islamic services. The services the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has 
rendered to religion and religious sciences are as bright as the sun. Of 
course, if some one closes his eyes due to inward blindness, opinionated 
ness and inequity, there is no remedy for it". 1 

The people who have happened to travel through Islamic countries 
or have read in newspapers and magazines about the conditions 
prevailing there will have marked one thing, not so much marked in 
thought and mind as in their lifestyle : that the inhabitants of these 
Islamic countries have not only been affected by western civilization and 
culture but have also accepted and adopted their influences to a large 
extent. The atmosphere of the countries like Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran, 
etc., the lands whereof received directly the honour of being traversed 
by the holy Companions and acquired grace directly from their holy 
breaths, remained resplendent with prophetic sciences and the Com- 
panions' relics and continued as cradles of Islamic sciences and arls for 
centuries; but no sooner the feet of strangers touched those lands than 
the Muslim inhabitants bode good-bye precipitately to Islamic arts and 
sciences and Islamic culture and civilization, and admitted such change 
and revolution in their lifestyle as if they had never been accustomed 
to the Islamic- way of life; or as though they belonged to a region of 
Europe ab initio. 

Besides this social and cultural revolution the condition of the 
academic decline you have already heard about in the foregone pages 
from no less a person than Allama Sayyid Rasheed Reza that had the 
Indian ulema not lavished their attention on the Science of Hadith, this 
science would have completely disappeared from the countries of the 
East, for between the tenth and the beginning of the fourteenth centuries 
(Hi[n) this science had reached the last stage of decay and debility in 
Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Hejaz. In A.H., 1315 when this respectable scholar 
migrated to Egypt he found that the khaiibs in the Jama-e Azhar and 
other mosques used to quote such hadiths in 'their sermons which were 
untraceable in the tomes of Hadith, and, he has added the condition of 
the preachers and the teachers was also the samt. 

When the death-dealing tide of European dominance and para- 
mounfcy tried to wash away India, which had generally remained 

1. Fasadi Mulla or Dushmanan-e Islam ke Agent, by Khwaja Khalif Ahmed Shai; 
printed by Iklil Press, Bhara'ich, pp. 11-12, 


deprived of the auspicious steps of the Holy Companions and had no! 
had any opportunity to be benefitted directly by their holy breaths, the 
Indian Muslims had to contend with these calamities for nearly one and 
a half or two centuries, but they have not todate totally relinquished 
their old Islamic conduct, culture and social life and the orthodox 
religiosity the foundation of which had been laid eight hundred years 

The cause of this difference? What else can if be but this thai at the 
time of the revolution in the said Islamic regions there did not exist any 
organised religious party, which, feeling the pulse of the nation in that 
envenomed atmosphere, could have made an all-embracing arrange- 
ment as a prophylactic measure for its survival and safeguard. But in 
India Hazrat Shah Wali Allah, having presaged this change from the 
straw in the wind, had laid the foundaiion of preventive measures. He 
prepared the Muslims' thought and mind in such a way that it safeguarded 
them from the alien influences; and at last the organised and blessed 
efforts of this party appearing on the one hand in the form of the Dar 
al-Ulum proved to be the guarantors of the Muslims' religion and virtue, 
on the other they became ihe means of their Islamic relations and religious 
connections. Forestalling, the Dar al-Ulum and its party built dams and 
dikes against the ntheism-noursihing hurricanes and poisonous storms 
of irreligion, saved and rescued the Muslims from the current of the flood 
and brought them to the shore, reminded them of the forgotten lesson 
and thus, maintaining the prophetic knowledge and the Companions' 
legacy intact in India., did not let the Indian Muslims straggle from the 
straight course. 

The thirteenth century hijri (nineteenth century A.D.) is a period 
of political decline and ideational languour. It was during this period 
that Europe gained domination over and colonized almost all the Islamic 
countries and more or less everywhere Islamic culture and Islamic 
sciences were facing the struggle of life and death. Ever-new misleading 
movements were laking birth in Islam. In short, after the decline of the 
power of the Mughal kings in India, the Indian Muslims were passing 
through the most precarious period of their history. They had never 
needed correct guidance so much before as they did now. The collapse 
of the Mughal regime and the establishment of the English paramountcy 
was the greatest accident in the history of the Indian Muslims. Under the 
violence, oppression and domination of the English, the enforcement of 
the Islamic laws apart, even the survival itself of Islam and Muslims 
in India was difficult. 1 

1. "The Muslims' who became the special target of British hatred after the Revolt 
naturally suffered most from its consequences. Their leading families in the 


At that time the onfy party to bear the responsibility of protecting 
Islam was that of the ulema; every inch of land of India is a witness to 
the fact that the ulema did not fail in discharging their duty even to the 
extent of a scintilla. Even an ordinary student of history knows that 
inspite of being deprived of the government backing during the past 
quarter and one century the ulema of India have so lightsomely 
discharged the onerous responsibility of protecting and developing the 
millat (community) that the alien government had to incur defeat at 
every fronl of anatagonism to Islam. And praise be to Allah that the 
Muslims of India continued to progress I 

After the revolution of 1857, the Indian Muslims were groaning 
under mountains of misfortunes and tyrannies inflicted by the English 
upon them; they were overwhelmed with a peck of troubles and 
oppressions which created in them such a feeling of fear and panic, 
helplessness and distress that if urgent and effective steps had not been 
taken to alleviate it, it is difficult to say what would have been the 
condition of the Muslims in respect of Islam. Madrasahs and hospices had 
been devastated; the ulema had been sent to gallows, the fiefs (jagirs) 
of the nobles had been confiscated, and the endowments of madrasahs 
and hospices had been peculated. The Muslim rank and file had been 
so severely and excessively punished that a feeling of misery, loneliness 
and subjugation had overcome them and had blunted their religious and 
academic faculties. Such a condition of inertia had developed in them 
that seeing it, it was not easy to predict that this community would ever 
thrive again. The victorious English men's passion for vengeance, with 
their characlerstic morgue anglaise, did not content itself only with the 
country and wealth of the Muslims but it also did not leave any stone 
unturned in destroying and obliterating, as far as possible, their 1300-year 
old proud achievements, their arts and sciences, civilization and culture 
and human virtues and merits. Under such adverse circumstances it will 
not be an exaggeration to assert and claim that if the name of Islam 
has remained alive in this land of India, it is very much due to this Dar 

(Foot-note continued) 

areas where the Revolt had raged most fiercely were uprooted, many lost their 

lands and properly and their bread-winners became paupers. The young men 

faced a bleak future as the doors of Government patronage were shut upon 

them. Darkness enveloped the community and a destiny boding nothing but 

ill threatened them". 

'According to Sir Alfred Lyall, after the Revolt of 1857, 'the English turned 

fiercely on the Mahomedans as upon their real enemies snd most dangerous 

rivals; so that the failure of the revolt was much more dangerous to them 

(Muslims) than to the Hindus". 

Vide History of the Freedom Movement in India, vof, ii, o. 349, by Dr. Tara 

Chand; Publications Division of the Govt of India, August 15. 1967. (Translator) 


al-Ulum and the sweating toil of the party of the ulema. Then, stringing 
all the inhabitants of the Islamic world in one academic thread, it served 
them also besides the Indian Muslims in a very generous manner. There 
are very few such Islamic countries from where students may not have 
come to the Dar al-Ulum to slake their academic thirst. As such, in the past 
one century, thousands of students, having lighted their own torches 
from this great candle of knowledge, have fanned out in the darknesses 
of the world. Students from Sri Lanka, Java, Sumatra, Malaya, Burmc, 
China r Mongolia, Tatar, Qazan, Bukhara, Samarqand, Afghanistan, 
Egypt, Syria. Yemen, Iraq, so much so that even from the illuminated 
Madina and the glorious Mecca, came here for studies. Is it not short of 
a miracle that the country that may never have benefitted directly from 
the prophetic sciences should become a centre for the whole world in 
religious education, so much so that the same sun of knowledge may be 
shedding its light in the two holy sanctuaries of Islom (Mecca and 
Madina)? And this felicity has not fallen to the lot of any other seminary 
that its graduates may have graced the masnads of teaching in the 
illuminated Madina, particularly in the Prophet's Mosque. Maulana Khalil 
Ahmed Anbathvi, the author of Bazl al-Majhud, Maulana Sayyjd Ahmed 
and Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madani have lectured on Hadith for years 
in Madina and in the Prophet's Mosque, and have caused to flow the 
rivers of arls and sciences, the Book and the Sunnah, from which 
numerous students of Egypt and Syria, besides those of Hejaz, benefitted 
and quenched their thirst of knowledge. Maulana Madani's elder brother, 
Maulana Sayyid Ahmed, an alumnus of the Dar al-Ulum, started a madrasah 
named Madrasat al-Ulum al-Shariyyah in the illuminated Madina from 
which the Madinans are deriving benefit, Maulana Madani used to say 
that "when during my stay in the illuminated Madina I used to describe 
the exegetical information of Hazrat Shah Abd al-Aziz and other Indian 
ulema before the ulema of Hejaz, the latter used to wonder as to from 
where the Indian ulema had acquired those secrets and mysteries of the 
Quranic knowledge". Maulana Rahmat Allah Keranvi established Madrasa-e 
Saulatiyyah in the venerable Mecca on the pattern of the Dar al-Ulum. 
Another madrasah was founded by Maulana Ishaq Amritsari, an old 
boy of the Dar al-Ulum. 

The peculiarity of the Dar al-Ulum is that it is irrigated by the pellu- 
cid spring of Islam and has had its own special individuality. Its ver- 
satile services which, crossing the Indian borders, have reached the Islamic 

countries, are infact the sweet fruit of the Indian Muslims' performance of 
their duty and pecuniary sacrifices, and by way of "discourse of Lord's 

bounty", they can pride themselves in all the Islamic countries on the fact 
that this largest seminary of the Muslims of Asia is maintained on the 

■"■ ' 350 

basis of their generosity and love of learning, and its sphere of benefac- 
tion is not limited to them only but has encompassed within its religious 
education and training the non-Indian Muslims also; and for one hundred 
and thirteen years the assemblies discoursing on Allah's and the Apostle's 
words have been thronged due to the Dar al-Ulum only. This is the 
very fountain-head of divine graces which, by its spiritual water of life, 
has made the fields of faith green in every nook and corner of India 
and outside India and the alumni of this very seminary are discharging 
the duty of serving the upright religion (din-e hetnif) in India and most 
of the Islamic countries. No just Muslim can deny the fact that the sen- 
timents of awakening of the Indian Muslims are mostly the result of the 
admirable efforts of the Dar al-Ulum only. 

Time showed many vicissitudes and fluctuations but at no time did 
the Dar al-Ulum change its ideal; it has maintained its old tenor for a 
period of more than one hundred years, it, had to sail through perilously 
swirling waters and bruve severe storms and it had to bear many buffet- 
tings from angry waves, but it did not alter its course. Instead of being 
affected and swayed by the accidents and vicissitudes of time, it has al- 
ways tried to change the atmosphere of the world by casting its own in- 
fluence. This is the reason that as much religiosity as is found in the ' 
Muslims of India despite their long subjugation' is not seen in other Islamic 
countries. A coniributor to Mujalla-e Ulum at-Din, Aligarh, has stated 
as fallows : — 

"The domination of ihe English people had created the danger that, 
God forbid, religion and religious sciences might depart from the coun- 
try. The establishment of the Dar al-Ulum under such circumstances 
obviated this danger and it emerged on the map of India as a live expo- 
sition of the Quranic verse i 'Lo ! We, even We, reveal the Reminder, and 
lo! We verily are its Guardian' (XV : 9) 

"The Muslims of India and Pakistan (the subcontinent), as regards 
their religious life, are under the obligation of the graduates of Deoband. 
Innovations and wrong customs and conventions came to an end in every 
nook and corner of the country through their missionary and reforming 
efforts. The correction of convictions ('a«a'id), preaching of religion, and 
polemical debates with the benighted sects, etc., are the conspicuous 
achievements of these gentlemen. 

"Its graduates accomplished great works in the academic field in 
which, besides the compilation and writing of useful books, are included 
the discovery of old academic treasures, useful and meaningful commen- 


taries and scholia, and the translations of innumerable books. Their ser- 
ices in the academic field deserve to be appreciated and complimented. 


"Many graduates of the Dar al-Ulum entered the political field, 
gave sacrifices and suffered hardships for the sake of the dear native land. 
The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has also been a centre of political guidance 
for the Muslims of India. Its graduates not only joined different move- 
ments and worked with them but they also became the cause of the setting 
of several new movements on foot. Thus they have been regularly giving 
the correct political guidance to the Muslims. 

"Indubitably the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, was an 
important need of the time and its graduates fulfilled this important need. 
In such circumstances prevailing in the country when the very concept of 
education, particularly the religious education, was absent and when there 
were only schools established by the English which either used 1o chri- 
stianize their students or at least made them weary of their religion, 
Deoband rose to the occasion, gave correct religious guidance to the peo- 
ple and created a religious atmosphere in the whole country. The ser- 
vices of the Dar al-U!um in this connection deserve to be written in tetters 
of gold". 1 

A former ambassador of Afghanistan, Sardar Najib Allah Khan, has 
expressed his impressions of the Dar al-Ulum in the following words :•- 

"In the eyes of the common people of Afghanistan the Dar al-Ulum, 
Deoband, is a public educational institution but 1 can say on the basis of 
my own observation' that it is not merely a public teaching institution but 
is also a centre of Islamic culture. At a time when the Islamic state was no 
more in India, the Dar al-Ulum protected religion and Islam, and I hope 
that in future too it will remain similarly engaged in serving the arts and 
sciences. The public, ulema and lovers of knowledge in Afghanistan are 
not only its admirers but they are also the helpers and well-wishers of 
its ulema, In fact this assembly (mehfil) of Islamic culture is the most pro- 
minent assembly and is sui generis. The foundation of Islamic culture 
rests on truth, love and recognition of reality and this assembly comprises 
all these elements. 

"The history of the Dar aUUIum is a witness to this thing that it has 
always produced upright and truthful sons on whom the Dar al-Ulum can 
rightly pride itself". 2 

1. Mujalia-e Ulum al-Din, Faculty of Theology. M.U.A.. dated 1971-72, pp. 185-186. 

2. Halat-e Sanwiya, 1369/1950, Kawaif-e Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, p. 7. 


Once a newspaper of Calcutta, 'Asr-eJadid', dated October 13, 1936, 
reviewing the services of the Dar al-Ulum, had written :— 

"The religious and educational services the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, 
has been rendering to Islam and the manner in which it has protected the 
spiritual building of Islamic India from the flood of western culture and 
civilisation can be evidenced by every corner of this long and broad sub- 
continent that is India. At a time when the glitter of modern sciences 
had dazzled the superfkia' observers, when- the lure of worldly honour 
and ranks was drawing the best hearts towards them, when people had 
become indifferent to religion and negligent towards religious education, 
when the sacred voices of "Said Allah" and 'Said the Apostle', overcome by 
the victorious racket and deafening flourish of trumpets of the western edu- 
cation and civilisation, had been suprressed in the drum-porch of modern 
education, at such a delicate time it was Deoband and Deoband alone 
which stood its ground bearing the standard of the Quran and the Hadith. 
The typhoons of apathy and the tornadoes of lukewarmness of the coun- 
try repeatedly tried to knock it down but it stood like a mountain. The 
derisive laughter of the triumphant culture could not deflect it from its 
Asianism and conservatism. The flood of modern education did wish to 
wash it away with its current but it was discomfited; and it, despite its 
forlorn condition, continued on the one hand to contend with its internal and 
external enemies and, on the other, kept transmitting the light of its spiri- 
tualism to every nook and corner of the country, so much so that after 
its continuous struggle it is today a glorious centre of Islamic education 
not only in India but also in Asia and the state of its spiritual lure is such 
that those doting on the Quran and the Hadith have gathered around it 
moth-like not only from Peshawar and Rangoon but also from Qafqai, 
Mosul, Bukhara and every part of the Islamic world. 

"It is said that the ulema are recluses, unaware of the roughs and 
smooths of the world. But this is not correct. They are not against the 
modern sciences but they are certainly inimical to tha westernism which 
makes hearts and minds disclaim their own nationality, their own reli- 
gion and their own social life. They are not inert and narrow-minded, 
but this is also certain that they do not look with approval upon such 
education and lifestyle which may make the sons of the community and 
the country strangers to themselves; which may annihilate their commu- 
nal sentiment and make them indifferent to religion and devoid of ori- 
ental morals; which may habituate them to fashion, externalism and in- 
dolence and may put out of sight the greatest and most important purpose 




of life, i.e., worship to God and service to His creatures". 

The newspaper, Al-Jami'at, De.hi, dated April 22, 1952, had written 
in its editorial as follows:— 

"To deny this fact will be tantamount to denying the greatest truth 
of the world that the example of the glorious services which the Islamic 
and religious schools of India, particularly the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, 
have rendered to Islam and the Muslims and the way they have moulded 
the mind in the Islamic mould, cannot be found in any educational sys- 
tem of ihe world. Such inexpensive education which has been given in 
Arabic schools till now is sui generis in the world. The teachers get so 
much pay as today perhaps office peons must be getting. They teach 
sitting on sack-cloth so that such sludents may be prepared who may 
become responsible for the religious life of the Muslims. The condition 
of the students' steadiness is such that they conient themselves with what- 
ever they get. Even if they receive any help from the madrasah, it is 
only so much that oil and soap may be bought and they may launder their 
clothes themselves. These students devote themselves merely for Allah's 
pleasure and don't care a fig even if they have to starve sometimes and 
may not have whole clo'.hes on their bodies ! 

"If the statistics of this inexpensive education these schools have 
given are published, perhaps the world will not believe it. These schools 
are the headspring of Islamic life through which the warm blood of reli- 
gion and beliefs is transfused into the religious body of the Muslims. 
And all are aware of the fact that the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is the great- 
est religious centre not only of India but also of Asia in which students 
from all over the world receive educalion and the sheets of whose edu- 
cational benefaction have spread all over Asia". 

The daily Da'wat, Delhi, dated July 24, 1969, writes about the pecu- 
liarities of the Dar al-Ulum as follows :— 

"The Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, is a century-old trust with us. In Asian 
countries it is the only institution which takes upon itself full responsibi- 
lity for supporting and educating nearly fifteen hundred students every 
year in such condition that it never took aid of a single paisa from the 
government. Student right from Asia Minor to Hejaz, Syria and Iraq 
used to come to the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, for prosecuting their studies 
and after graduating from it when they reached their own countries they 
used to cut a good impression of their academic erudition. In India and 


Pakistan teachership in the madrasahs and the important service of 
leading the congregational prayers in the mosques and sermonising are 
even today mostly in the hands of the graduates of the same Dar 

From ihe opinion of a western ihinker you will know that the fame 
and greatness of the Dar al-Ulum, having passed through the continents 
of Asia and Africa has even reached Canada. Prof. W. Cantwell Smilh, 
Director of ihe Department of Islamic Studies, McGill University, Montreal, 
Canada, writes in his book. Modern Islam in India :— 

"Next to the Azhar of Cairo, the Dar ai-Ulum at Deoband is the most 
important and respected theological academy of the Muslim World, its 
influence and prestige throughoui India are naturally large and they are 
all the greater for the school's long tradition and concern for the material 
condition of the Indian Muslims. The tradition is derived ultimately from the 
movement of Shah Waliullah Dihlavi and the Indian Wahabis and has ex- 
pressed itself in the participa.ion of Deoband 'Ulama' in various revolution- 
ary movements such as the Ghadar of 1857 and their more recent support 
of Congress nationalism. Unlike Bareilly, Deoband is thoroughly dissatisfied 
with things as they are, and it is vigorous and determined in its efforts to 
improve them. Its aim is to resuscitate classical Islam, rid the Muslims 
of the theological corruptions, the ritual degradations and the material 
exploration to which they have fallen prey since the British occupation. 

"Theologically the school stands for a rigid orthodoxy of the classical 
Aristotelean type. The door of "ijtihad" is closed tight. Deoband main- 
tains rigorously the premises of Islam. Within ihe limhs. of ihose pressures 
it is relentlessly rationalist. It attempts to do away with aberra- 
tions, compromises and intellectual laziness. The theological atmosphere 
is that of an unmitigated scholasticism; the professors use exclusively the 
old categories of thought. 

"On the practical side, Deoband 'Ulama' are puritanically strict.... 
They work assiduously 'o overcome and destroy backslidings, superstitions, 
saint-worship and all the paraphernalia of ignorance, poverty and fear 
in a depressed and decadent agrarian society. 

"Their ideal is traditional Islam in its purest form — with a strict 
enforcement of Shari'ah. Their conception of historical Islam is precise 
unlike ihe liberals, whose roseate picture of an ideal age in the past is 
coloured more strongly by contemporary liberal aspirations than by any 
disciplined acquaintance with Islamic studies". 


From Modern Islam in India, pp. 320-321. 

by Prof. Wilfred Cantwell Smith. 

Pub. : Minerva Bookshop, 

Anarkali, Lahore. 1943. 

The educational and religious services of the Dctr al-Ulum are so 
clear that an observer can see them at first sight. In 1377/1957, the 
President of the Republic of India, ihe late Dr. Rajendra Prasad, while 
speaking in the Dar al-Ulum, has soid :— 

"The august men of the Dar al-Ulum have been learning and impar- 
ting knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Such men have been there 
in the past also but very few who acquired knowledge and taught it 
merely for the sake of serving knowledge. They used to be more honou- 
red than the kings. Today the elders of the Dar al-Ulum are treading 
the same path. 

"The elders of the Dor al-Ulum have rendered service not only to 
the inhabitant of this country but they have also achieved such fame 
from their services that students of foreign lands also flock to this insti- 
tute, and after having acquired education here, they go back lo their 
countries and disseminate 1 whatever they have learnt here. This thing is 
worthy of being proud of for -all the people of this country". 2 

The Government of India should be grateful to the religious schools, particu- 
larly the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, that these madrasahs, without taking any 
financial aid from the government, are busy day and night with simplicity in 
removing illiteracy from the country and in moral edification through religious 
education at an ordinary expense. Not only this that the results of their great 
services are limited to India alone; they are rather, according to the President 
of India, the loftiest means of India's fame and glory in other countries. 

(S. M. Rbvi) 
Sadar-e Jamhouriya-e Hind Deoband Men, pp. 27, 31. 



In the late thirteenth century hijri, at about the time of the establish- 
ment of the Dar al-Ulum, the old system of madrasahs in India had almost 
come to an end. Even if some autumn-struck madrasahs were extant 
here and there, their position was only parochial; none of them had had 
a central posiiion. Before this the Islamic government had disburdened 
the public of bearing on their own heads the responsibility of educating 
their children. But the greatest problem that confronted the people now 
was as to how best they could make arrangements for the education of 
the future generations. Besides this, in those days in the institutions 
which were considered religious much more importance was being given 
to the rational sciences. The text-books of these sciences, Sadra, Shams-e 
Bazigha, Sharh-e Matal'e and their commentaries and scholia were con- 
sidered the criterion of learning; Hadith and Tafsir were very little in 
vogue, almost in a state of neglect. In contrast to this the Dar al-Ulum 
had come into existence according to the Wali Allahian system of thought 
and hence, instead of the rational sciences, more importance had been 
given here to the traditional sciences — Hadith, Tafsir and Fiqh. Later 
on this system was more or less approved in all the seminaries that were 
started in the sub-continent. 

Accordingly, six months after the eslabiishment of the Dar al-Ulum, 
when, in A.H. 1283, the Madrasah Mazahir-e Ulum was established at 
Saharanpur, it also adopted the same curriculum which was current in 
the Dar al-Ulum. Then, gradually, seminaries came up on the pattern of 
the Dar al-Ulum at different places. The late Hafiz Abd al-Razzaq' 
founded a seminary at Thana Bhavan and in educational and admini- 
strative matters it was made a branch of the Dar al-Ulum. It is stated in 
the report for A. H. 1285 :- 

A resident of Thana Bhavan, he was deeply interested in the religious and pro- 
fane education of the Muslims. So he had built a mosque with a fountain of 
water in it and had started a seminary in that mosaue. To meet the expenses 
of the madrasah he had built shops around the mosque. This madrasah con- 
tinued for a long time. Maulana Fateh Muhammad who was amongst the 
earliest graduates of the Dar al-Ulum was the teacher in this madrasah. 
The late Hafiz had opened one private college also for the study of engineering 
in which he himself used to teach this subject to the students. The present 
writer has seen several sub-overseers who had been educated in this college. 
It Is regrettable that Hafiz Sahib's date of death could not be known. (S. M. Rlzvi) 


"We express utmost joy over this matter that many high-spirited 
gentlemen, trying to give extension to Arabic madrasahs, started madra- 
sahs at different places like Delhi, Meerut, Khurja, Buland Shahar, Saha- 
ranpur, etc., and plans are afoot for this work at other places like Ali- 
garh, etc", 1 

Then it is stated in the report for A. H. 1297 :— 
"We express this thing with extreme happiness and thank the Real 
Benefactor that in this year new Islamic madrasahs were started at places 
like Meerut, Gulaothi, Danpur, etc., and they were more or less affiliated 
to this madrasah". 2 

Then, at the end, details have been given about the conditions and 
establishment of the above-mentioned madrasahs. 

Hazrat Nanautavi had said in one speech :— 

"Most of these madrasahs have been established in imitation of this 
madrasah. So a madrasah' may excel over it, but in the sight of the wise 
it will only be a reflection of Deoband". 3 

The particulars of the madrasahs which were started then on the 
pattern of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, are given in detail in the reports 
of the Dar al-Ulum. Some of those madrasahs were as under : — 


With the effort and endeavour of the local Muslims an Arabic Ma- 
drasah has been running at Thana Bhavan, Disf, Muzaffarnagar, for a 
long time and about it the rector thereof, Haflz Abd al-Razzaq, and 
teacher Maulana Fateh Muhammad were of the opinion that it should be 
made a branch of the Arabic Madrasah of Deoband, and the arrange- 
ment of its curriculum and supervision of its income and expenditure 
should also be under the managers of the Madrasah of Deoband. Hence, 
according to the opinion of the management of this madrasah it appeared 
praise-worthy to affiliate that madrasah to this madrasah. Accordingly, 
in Muharram al-Haram, A.H, 1291 its administration was entrusted to 
the rector of the Arabic Madrasah of Deoband". 4 

1. Rudad, A.H. 1285, p. 70, Printed: Zia'i. Meerut. 

2. Rudad, A.H. 1297, Printed : Mujtabai, Delhi, p. 61. 

3. Rudad, A.H. 1290. p. 12. 

4. Rudad, A.H. 1290, p. 81. printed by Farouqi Press, Delhi. 


It is stated in the report for A. H. 1294 :— 

"Thousands of thanks tc Allah Most High that within a short 
time the object of ihis madrasah (Dar al-Ulum, Deoband) began to be 
achieved and it attained such height and perfection that many madrasahs 
of this kind were 'started in big cities and towns, are being started and— 
if it please Allah ! — will be started in future also. Congratulations to 
the co-operators of this madrasah ! And the high-spirited and generous 
men of the following places, starting Arabic madrasahs at their respective 
places which we shall, Allah willing, mention in detail in future, affi- 
liated them to this madrasah of their own volition. This is the proof of 
their good sense and high-mindedness. Thana Bhavan, Muzaffarnagar, 
Gulaothi, Kerana, Anbatha". 1 

It is mentioned in the report for A. H. 1297 :— 

"We express this thing with extreme happiness and thank she Real 
Benefactor that in this year new Islamic madrasahs were started at places 
like Meerut, Gulaothi, Danpur, etc., and they were more or less affiliated 
to this madrasah {Dor al-Ulum, Deoband); and we congratulate the in- 
habitants of those places and pray in the Court of Allah (be He honoured 
and glorified I) that these madrasahs continue and progress day by day 
and the Muslims of big towns and townlets may have the grace to follow 
this good work. O Holy Lord ! Show us that day when no habitation 
may remain devoid of this lasting wealth and there may be talk of know- 
ledge in every lane and bye-lane and ignorance may vanish from the 
world. Amen I Now we, for the sake of the audience's recreation, 
give briefly the particulars of each separately". 2 


Meerut is a famous city. The being of a madrasah at such a fine 
place is very revitalising for the Muslims. Praise be to Allah that during 
the current year through the effort of Maulavi Muhammad Hashim, a 
nobleman of Meerut, this madrasah was started with the contributions 
of the poor Muslims. 3 Although contributions commensurate with the 

1. Rudad, A.H. 1294, p. 13. 2. Rudad, A.H. 1297, pp. 61-63 
3. This madrasah had been established by Hazrat Nanautavi during the last phase 
of his stay at Meerut. It was a branch of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. Its ear- 
liest teachers' were the graduates of the Dar ahUlum. Men like Maulana Nazir 
Hasan Deobandi, who later on became Shams al-Ulama (a title conferred by 
the then English government on outstanding scholars of Arabic, Persian & Urdu 
Translator), Maulana Mufti Aziz al-Rahman Deobandi and Maulana 


capacity of this city have not been collected so far, it is strongly hoped 
that, Allah willing, sufficient contributions will be collected and this mad- 
rasah will progress well. The rector of this madrasah at present is Maulavi 
Muhammad Hashim. 1 Maulavi Nazir Hasan, educated at Madrasa-e 
Arabi, Deoband, is the first teacher of Arabic, and one teacher for Persian, 
one for teaching the holy Quran, and one man for collecting contributions 
are in the employ. The strength of the students is good and the method 
of teaching is also good. The Muslims of Meerut should divert their 
generosity towards it and should help it with cash and kind. If ail the 
Muslims pay one paisa each, much can be accomplished. The Muslims 
should try to save their offspring from the otlamity of ignorance and con- 
sider this madrasah to be conducive to edification and reformation of 
their condilion and the end of life, arid should give help for lis progress 
wholeheartedly. "And Allah is the Giver of grace." 

(Foot-note continued) 

Habib al-Rahman Usmani (who respectively became chief mufti and vice-chan- 
cellor of the Dar al-Ukim later on) continued to grace the teaching posts of 
this madrasah. Maulana Muhammad Ishaq Kathori (d. A.H. 1373), Qari Muha- 
mmad Ishaq Meeruthi, khalifa of Mufti Aziz al-Rahman Deobandi (d. A.H. 1364), 
Maulana Qazi Bashir al-Din, Qazi of Meerut city, author of Tazk!ra-e Azizia, 
etc. (d. A.D. 1945) and father of Qazi Zayn al-Abidin Sajjad Meeruthi, and 
Maulana Si raj Ahmed Meeruthi, teacher of Madrasah-e Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, 
were among the earliest students of this madrasah. Maulavi Muhammad 
Hashim, proprietor of Matba-e Hashimi, Meerut, was its rector. 
In 1338/1919, when this madrasah went into the possession of non-Deobandi 
elements, both Maulana Qazi Bashir al-Din and Maulavi Muhammad SiraJ (eldest 
son of Maulavi Muhammad Hashim, the former rector of the madrasah) resigned 
from its membership, and established a new madrasah named Madrasa-e Dar 
al-Ulum in the Jam'a Masjid of Meerut. Under the advice of Maulana Khalil 
Ahmed Anbathvi, Maulana Mubarak Husain Sanbhali was appointed as the 
headmaster of this madrasah. He was a pupil of Hazrat Shaikh al-Hind and a 
renowned preacher (wa'tz) and polemizer (munazir). Haji Tahawwur AH, 
father of Maulana Badr-e Alam Mahajir-e Madani, was appointed as rector. 
Maulana Qazi Zayn al-Abidin Sajjad was the first student of this madrasah. 

1. The late Maulavi Muhammad Hashim was a resident of Meerut. One printing 
press of his, named Matba-e Hashimi, was an established concern at Meerut. 
in A.H. 1285, when Munshi Mumtaz Ali went for hajj, Hazrat Nanautavi had 
established a connection with the said Matba-e Hashimi. Some of the reports 
of the Dar al-Ulum printed at this press are extant; besides, many books like 
Bukhari Sharif, Kimya-e Sa'adat, Jalalayn Sharif, Bayan al-Qurari, etc., were 
printed at this press. Maulana Ahmed Ali Muhaddith Saharanpuri too had 
had connection with it. As such, the contribution mentioned against his name 
in the report for A.H. 1284 has the address of Matba-e Hashimi, Meerut. 
Maulavi Muhammad Hashim died in A.H. 1304. Several large donations of his 
are mentioned in the reports of the Dar al-Ulum. He was Qazi Zayn al-Abidin 
Sajjad's grandfather, Qazi Abd al-Bari's brother-in-law (wife's brother) and 
Mufti Shaukat Ali Fehmi's (editor of Din-Duniya. Delhi) maternal grandfather. 

(Sayyid Mahboob Rizvi) 



This madrasah was started in village Gulaothi, Dist. Buland Shahar, 
by a nobleman, Munshi Sayyid Mehrban Ali 1 in pursuance of \ Hazrat 
Nanautavi's instruction. Through his high-mindedness he planned well 
for its stability and continuance. May Allah make it prosperous! At 
present there are two teachers in this madrasah and by a strange co-in- 
cidence the name of both of them is Maulavi Abd Allah and both are the 
alumni of the Madrasa-e Arabi, Deoband, and — as Allah willed it!— 
both are graduates. 

O Allah ! Bestow stability on this madrasah and grace upon the 
Muslims to take advantage of it and make its founder prosperous with 
good and blessings. Amen, again amen ! 

1. Munshi Sayyid Mehrban Ali (1232/1816 — 1307/1889) was a generous and 
benevolent nobleman of Gulaothi. He had been appointed on a high post in 
the former Bharatpur state. Thereafter he started trading in horses and opened 
an indigo factory which was in those days an important industry and a great 
source of income. Through these he earned a lot of profits. 

The late Munshi Sahib, in the year of the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum 
(1283/1886), built a magnificent Jam'a Masjid at Gulaothi at his own expense. 
— He got the foundation-stone of this mosque laid by Hazrat Nanautavi. In 
1287/1870, the Madrasah Manba al-Ulum had been initially started in Munshi 
Sahib's palace but later on when the building of the Jam'a Masjid and the 
madrasah was completed, it was shifted to it, Maulana Abd Allah Ansari was 
its earliest teacher. From the horizon of the Manba al-Ulum many bright 
stars of knowledge and learning rose up. Men like Maulana Hafiz Muhammad 
Ahmed, vice-chancellor of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband; an important member of 
Hazrat Shaikh al-Hind's movement. Maulana Mansoor Ansari; Hazrat Maulana 
Shah Abd al-Qadir Raipuri; Maulana Fakhr al-Din Ahmed; Shaikh al-Hadith in 
the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband; Maulana Khayr Muhammad Jullandhari; and last but 
not the least, Maulana Bashir Ahmed, pro-vice-chancellor ot the Dar al-Ulum, 
Deoband, (may Allah have mercy upon all of them !), started their primary 
education from the same madrasah. Its educational benefaction is still current. 
The present writer too has passed some time of his studentship in this mad- 

Munshi Mehrban Ali was very much interested in works of public weal, 
Besides the Jam'a Masjid and Madrasah at Gulaothi, he built two other mosques, 
constructed several travellers' rest-houses, 52 public wells, a hospital which 
he maintained at his own expense, and a 19-span bridge, two miles from 

Gulaothi, over river Kali. He was a sincere sympathiser and welt-wisher of 
the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, always helping it monetarily. He left four daugh 
His magnificent palaces are still a witness to his old glory. CUWAiAiS"^ 



In the small town of Dcmpur, Dist. Buland Shahar, Nawab Muham- 
mad Mashooq Ali Khan, 2 a nobleman of the said town, through his' 
lofty-mindedness, started an Islamic madrasah and provided reasonable 
arrangements for the comfort of outside students. In this period there is 
no work better than this and there is no better way of well-wishing and 
public weal. "Good deeds which endure" (baqiyat al-saulehat) is the 
name of this work only. May the Holy Nourisher bestow stability and 
steadiness upon this madrasah and grace upon the Muslims and keep its 
founder under His own protection and shelter from all misfortunes ! At 
present the teacher of this madrasah is Maulavi Ahmed al-Din, an alumnus 
of the Madrasa-e Arabi, Deoband. 


Moradabad is a well-known city. The poor Muslims of that place, 
at the suggestion of Hazrat Nanautavi, have started an Islamic madrasah 
for the last two, three years. Although it was a very small affair in the 
beginning, today — as Allah willed it ! — this madrasah is in a flourishing 
state and there is hope that it will go on progressing day by day. All 
the functionaries of this madrasah are really very intelligent, trustworthy 

1. Danpur is situated at a distance of 23 miles from Aligarh, on the road that 
goes from Aligarh to Anupshahar (Dist. Bulandshahar). 

2. His real name was Kunwar Mas'ud Ali Khan. His maternal grandfather, Kun- 
war Wazir Ali Khan had distributed his property among different relatives but 
had given a large portion of it to Kunwar Mas'ud Ali Khan because of the 
latter's worldly-wisdom and religious interest. The fortunate heir started a 
rePigious madrasah at Danpur as a memorial to his maternal grandfather, naming 
it Wazir al-Ulum after him, and endowed several villages for its expenses. 
There had been arrangement for Daura-e Hadith in this madrasah for quite a 
long time. The students' expenses for hoarding and lodging are borne by 
the madrasah. There has been special arrangement in this madrasah for the 
memorising of the Quran and orthoepy. As such, even today there are nearly 
one thousand such hafizes in and around Danpur who have committed the 
Quran to memory in this madrasah. Nowadays Kunwar Ammar Ahmed Khan 
is the heir of Kunwar Mas'ud Ali Khan and is the dearly beloved scion of this 

It is a respectable and noble family of neophyte Lalkhani Raiputs, whose states 

were situated in the districts of Bulandshahar and Aligarh. The noblemen of this 

family have always participated in religious and communal works. Nawab Mahmud 

Ali Khan Chhatri, a spiritual disciple of Hazrat Ha|i lmdad Allah, Nawab 

Yusuf Ali Khan, Nawab Abd al-Samsd Khan and Nawab Hafiz Ahmed Sa'eed 

Khan of Chhatari, chancellor, Muslim University. Aligarh, belong to the same 


Kunwar Mas'ud Ali Khan died in August, 1899. 

(Derived from Kunwar Ammar Ahmed Khan's letters, dated October 10 and Nov. 

6. 1974, addressed to the present writer), 


and honest. May Allah Most High bestow prosperity on their endeavour 
and maintain this great work and give more progress ! Amen ! And the 
cause of more progress and splendour of this establishment is its first 
teacher, Maulavi Mir Ahmed Hasan who is a well-guided disciple of Mau- 
lana Maulavi Muhammad Qasim. All the Muslims of that place are ex- 
tremely pleased with his laudable morals. May Allah give them pros- 
perity ! The rector of this madrasah is Mirza Muhammad Nabi Beg. 
Moreover, due to certain reasons we consider this madrasah to be our own 
and invoke good blessings in its favour. May Allah develop it mote and 
more ! 

It may be remembered on this occasion that the establishing of ma- 
drasahs nowadays has not been that difficult. Bu! just imagine the cir- 
cumstances of a hundred years or of a century and a quarter ago when 
there was no vogue of such madrasahs and the people were not aware of 
this method of establishing madrasahs nor of their necessity. To esta- 
blish religious schools under such circumstances, without any aid and co- 
operation from the government, and relying merely on the common 
Muslims' donations, was indeed a tremendous work. From those days 
to date, praise be to Allah, countless seminaries have been started in the 
length and breadth of India and day by day their number is on the in- 
crease. Most of these madrasahs have had regular affiliation with the 
Dar al-Ulum and the Dar al-Ulum makes arrangements for examiners to 
conduct the examinations of such madrasahs. 

This affiliation of the seminaries of the country to the Dar al-Ulum, 
Deoband, is a very useful and effective means of the organisation of the 
Deaband party, academic management, ideal unity and mutual concord. 
This thing has rendered much help to the Dar al-Ulum in giving it the 
status of a university rather than remain a parochial educational insti- 
tute and in its developing into a country-wide movement. 

The academic benefaction of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, did not remain 

1, Rudad, AH. 1297, old print, pp. 61-63. 

This madrasah of Moradabad is known as Jamia-e Qasimiyah, housed in the 
Shahi Masjid of Moradabad. Among the religious schools started during the 
incipience of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, save the Mazahir-e Ulum, Saharanpur, 
Jamia-e Qasimiyah alone has flourished most and has attained much fame 
among the seminaries for the excellence of its religious instruction. In taking 
the Jamia-e Qasimiyah, Moradabad, to the pinnacle of progress the admini- 
strative efforts of its rector, Maulana Abd al-Haq Madani, and the great edu- 
cational service in the teaching of Hadith of its headmaster, Maulana Sayyid 
Fakhr aMDin Ahmed, have played a great part. The late Maulana Sayyid 
Muhammad former Shaikh al-Hadith of Madrasa-e Aminiya, Delhi, was also 
attached to it for a long time, 

(S. M. Rizvi). 


confined to merely turning out dims (religious scholars}, but by its versa- 
tile effects such an atmosphere was also created whereby religious schools 
continued to come up everywhere. It appears from this that at that time 
as though the establishing of religious schools was present among the 
Muslims as a ruling passion, but since the old means of starting madrasahs 
had altogether disappeared, their high spirits had been depressed. But 
when the Dor ai-UIum took the initiative, a new thoroughfare was opened 
for the Muslims. At the same time the organisers of some madrasahs, 
giving a central position to the Dar a!-Ulum, thought it fit under the in 
fluence of the Dar ai-UIum to annex their respeciive madrasahs to one 
system. i 

The Madrasa-e Haqqaniah Nai'emiyah in Multan is a centuries old 
madrasah. Its present rector, Maulana Shafiq Ahmed writes i The mad- 
rasah has neither permanent nor temporary income and hence it is be- 
coming increasingly difficult to maintain ihe madrasah. A friend of mine 
advised me that if I cultivated acquaintance with such and such an 
officer, my financial worries would be over and a fair arrangement would 
be made for the future". Maulana Shafiq Ahmed adds further: "For this 
purpose I performed istilchara (a devotional technique for seeking divine 
favour — Translator). At first for several nights I continued to see the 
ulema of the time in dream from which l drew the conclusion that in- 
stead of cultivating the contemporary officials to gain their pleasure the 
will of Allah Most High was lhat I should act according to the method of 
the ulema and instead of aid from the government should maintain the 
madrasah with contributions . 

The affiliation of the religious schools of various places resulted in 
a particular administrative and educational link-up, producing uniformity 
in the set-up and educational method, and consequentially a very useful 
concordance of seminaries, mutual amicability, academic organisation and 
solidarity of the schools and 1 the teachers. 

Besides this, another advantage of the establishment of seminaries at 
different places was that the students of distant places who could not afford 
to reach the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, began to quench their thirst for know- 
ledge and religion in the easily accessible seminaries in the vicinity. And 
since in these schools, by and large, the graduate ulema of the Dar al- 
Ulum itself were rendering teaching services, those distant students too, 
on the whole, got a change to benefit fron-. *he external and spiritual 
blessings of the Dar al-Ulum. About the same lime this movement of the 
Dar al-Ulum, passing from northern india, had reached a place named 

1. Letter from Mau. Shafiq Ahmed, dated 19th Rabi al-Thani, A.H. 1396, to Maulana 
Qari Muhammad Tayyib, vice-chancellor, D.D. 


Wanambari in Tamilnadu, South India. It is stated in Aaina-e-Wemambari: 
"There, under the influence of the Deoband Movement a seminary with 
the Nizami system of curriculum, namely, Ma'dan al-Ulum was established. 
The ulema who graduated from this seminary are busy in academic and 
religious services in and outside Madras 1 ". 

Due to this flourishing of the seminaries the influence of the Dar al- 
Ulum, Deoband, reached more or less all the corners of the subcontinent. 
The seminaries of India, Pakistan and Bangla Desh are rendering reli- 
gious services at their respective places with the co-operation of the local 
Muslims. Thanks to Allah this system of establishing Arabic madrasahs is 
progressing day by day. O Allah ! Increase it more and more I 

This is a fact that most of the religious schools seen in the subconti- 
nent are those which have been established on the pattern of the Dar 
al-Ulum, Deoband, or under 1 the influences generated by it. So the acade- 
mic responsibilities of the religious madrasahs are being carried out 
through the graduates of the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband. Thus the existence of 
the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, has had an epoch-making position in the 
modern history of Islam and it is from here only that the net-work of 
religious educational institutions has spread in the subcontinent. 

Many young men, graduating from the seminaries, particularly from 
the Dar al-Ulum, Deoband, come out with the longing of founding religious 
schools and they have actually brought many madrasahs into existence. 
As such, since the establishment of the Dar al-Ulum so many madrasahs 
have been started in the subcontinent so far that it is not easy to count 
them all. A society of Calcutta named Nida-e Islam keeps publishing the 
list of religious schools. The list published in 1393/1973 carries names of 
608 such schools out of which 228 are in U.P. only. 2 Despite this effort 
which the Anjuman Nida-e Islam expends over searching out the reli- 
gious madrasahs, the names of less than half of these madrasahs are 
found in this list. The names of many such madrasahs which are known 
to therf present writer are also not there in the said list. 

Among the 915 religious madrasahs in Pakistan madrasahs belong- 
ing to the Deoband rnaslak (tack) number 458, 3 while the remaining 457 
madrasahs belong to the Ah!-e Hadith, Shias and Bareillvi cults. These 
figures have been taken from a survey of 1391/1971. In the later five 
years certainly there must have been some addition to this figure. 

A net-work of religious madrasahs has spread in Bangla Desh also 
but it is a pity that statistics could not be had, from there. 

1. Aaina-e Wanambari, p. 44; 1970. 

2. List of Anjuman Nida-e Islam, pub. 1393/1973. 

3. For details vide Dar al-Ulum Deoband No. of Al-Rasheed Monthly of Lahore. 



The Christian countries of Europe have been rivals of the Muslims 
from the very beginning. They never considered the idolatrous nations 
to be their enemies capable of posing danger Jo Christendom in the field 
of international politics. 1 But the Muslims did have an international 
position. They had established their slates not only in Asia but had also 
ruled over Spain in Europe for 800 years and then for 600 had held sway 
over Constantinople, which was the capital of eastern Byzantium and 
other territories under its suzerainly. The real rivals, therefore, of the 
Christians were only Muslims, who had fought great wars with them in 
the course of 1400 years, particularly since the Muslims control of Jeru- 
salem and practically since A.D. 1095 when the two great fai'ihs, Islam 
and Christianity, had, after centuries of argument, decided to resort to— 
as a world-renowned historian of civilisation says — "to man's ultimate 
arbitrament — the supreme court of war"; when all Christendom was 
aflame with holy fervour as never before as it feverishly prepared for the 
holy war. On the holy land of Palestine alone, which was then the bone 

1. On the contrary, they were the lowest in the English estimation. The late 
Dr. Tara Chand has given a number of such estimates in his scholarly History 
of the Freedom Movement in India, vol. ii. Some outstanding samples from 
politicians and priests are as under ■ From Cornwallis to Canning, there was 
hardly any Governor-General whose opinion about Indians was favourable". 
Macaulay, says Tara Chand, had the frankness to confess that he looked upon 
Indians as a race debased by three thousand years of despotism and priest- 
craft and sunk in slavery and superstition". One Mr. Carey wrote : "1 suppose 
that no people can have more completely surrendered their reason than the 
Hindoos". Alexander Duff, the most remarkable propagandist of Christianity 
sent from England to India described the Indian people as a "multiple of 
heathens, the most licentious and depraved under the sun"; and in his book, 
India and Indian Mission, he wrote : "Of all the systems of false religion ever 
fabricated by the perverse ingenuity of fallen men, Hinduism is surely the most 
stupendous". Charles Grant, an influential member of the Court of Directors 
of the East India Company, held extemely unfavourable views about India. Upon 
the Hindu religion he poured the utmost ridicule, exhausting all the terms of 
abuse. This was his description : "idolatry with all its rabble of impure 
deities, its monsters of wood and stone, its false principles and corrupt prac- 
tices, its delusive hopes and fears, its ridiculous ceremonies and degrading 
superstitions, its lying legends and fraudulent impositions". About the Hindu 
society, he stated : "They exhibit human nature in a very degraded, humilia- 
ting state". And his estimate about the Muslims too was not much different. 
About them he said : "the Mohammedans who are mixed with them, may, in 
regard to manners and morals, often be comprehended under the same obser- 
vation", (pp. 235, 238 and 239; Publications Division, Govt, of India, August 
15, 1967). 



of contention, as many as thirteen crusades had been fought in which the 
allied natives of Europe had taken part and had at last been defeated. 
The Turks had to keep fighting the Christian nations of Europe for 600 
years, Christendom was therefore afraid only of the Muslims against 
whom it was always intriguing and hatching conspiracies to create weak- 
ness in Muslim politics so that it might take advantage of it. 

So, when the English, in their greed of conquest, landed on the 
Indian soil, here too they found the banner of Muslim power waving in 
the air. This too made them consider Muslims as their true rivals and 
they began 1o plan to crush ihem. In the sight of the English the Muslims 
did not deserve any sympathy. The passion for vengeance created by the 
events of 1857 had deprived the English of even the human sentiments of 
justice and equity in respect of the Muslims. Since the Muslims, in ihe 
revolt of 1857 and, earlier, had been in the forefront of every movement 
opposing the English, ihey alone were made the target of wrath after the 
stabilisation of the English government. Subsequent to the decline and 
exlinction of the Muslim power and the stability of the sway of the East 
India Company over India, the Christian missions enhanced their activi- 
lies throughout the country more fervently and enthusiastically, atfhough 
the preaching activities in India had already begun during the Mughal 
regime itself. A historian of that era, Khafi Khan has stated : "The Ferin- 
ghees have mostly established their colonies in the coastal ports. When 
anyone from amongst their subjects dies, ,hey confiscate his effects and, 
enslaving his young children, whether they be Hindu or Muslim, christia- 
nize* them". 1 

The means and methods the English adopted in propagating Chris- 
tianity had spread prodigious misgivings among the Indians. 

In the beginning of the nineteenth century the activities of the Chris- 
tian missions encompassed the whole country. The aforesaid Charles 
Grant was instrumental in inducing the British Parliament to incorporate 
provisions about education and the entry of missionaries in the Charter 
of 1813. 2 Wiih this permission a floodgate of missions and their schools, 
colleges, hospitals and Bible Societies was opened "to redeem the heathens 
of India from the darkness in which they dwelt".* For this purpose legions 
after legions of padres began to come to India and crores of rupees began 
,to be spent like water. Besides males, a number of women missionaries 

1. Urdu translation of Khafi Khan's Muntakhab al-Lubab, vol. ii, p. 73. Educational 
Press, Karachi; 1963. 

2. Dr. Tara Chand, op. cit p, 239. 

3. Ibid, 


were also employed to preach among the Indian women, The people of 
the untouchable, scheduled castes of India were much affected by the Chris- 
tian preachers. Besides them, some other people also, renouncing their 
ancestral religions, began 1o become Christians, 

In 1826, Archbishop Heber of the Church of England, after a long 
missionary tour of India, submitted a report to the Court of Directors of 
the East India Company to ihe effect that since its political power had 
been established in India and Mussulmans, Marhattas, Rajputs, Sikhs, all 
had submitted to their paramountcy, there was no more left any possi- 
bility of any row or uproar over rhe preaching of Christianity. Such re- 
ports and statements gave a great fillip to the missionary activities, en- 
couraging the padres' coming to India and their long sojourns here. 
Christian preachers swarmed everywhere and fanned out in the country, 
laying a net-work of preaching activities from cities and towns to villages. 
These overzealous missionaries would not rest content with merely the des- 
cription of the merits and virtues of their religion but, under a pre-planned 
scheme, used to publish such literature in which the religions of India, 
particularly the Islamic teachings and Islamic culture were being derided, 
and the Prophet of Islam, Muslim monarchs and saints were insulted and 
affronted. The purpose of these people behind this derision and detrac- 
tion most probably was that since the Muslims after their political decline 
and debacle had been deprived of their inheren courage, high-minded- 
ness and lofty vision, if the virtues and merits of Christianity and the 
(supposed) defects and shortcomings of their own religion and history weic 
presented before them on this occasion, they would very possibly aposta- 
tize and would adopt Christianity and thus the English would get a chance 
to rule over India permanently and complacently. In A. D. 1834/A. H. 
125'0, the famous preacher of the Church of England, Dr. C. G. Fender 
came to India. He was a cleric of German stock and had had proficiency 
in speaking and writing both the Arabic and Persian languages. In A. D. 
1835/A. H. 1251 he published a book in Persian entitled" Mizan al-Haq 
in refutation of Islam, 1 This is the first book in refutation of Islam publi- 
shed in India. 

In short, the missionaries had been given a free hand in writing vituperative 
books and flinging all sorts of derogatory remarks at all and sundry barefacedly. 
Dr. Tara Chand says ; "For the missionaries preached and rubbed in their 
views in fchools, societies and open markets, and poured out incessant pro- 
paganda by means of books, pamphlets and the Press. Their polemics were 
barbed with language of extreme discourtesy and their assertive methods not 
only aroused anger and dismay among Indians, they caused a great deal of 
anxiety to the rulers in the highest quarters. Charles Wood, Secretary of State 
for India, wrote in a letter to Earl Canning : 'As to the missionaries, they are 
mischievous enough. I only do not wish unnecessarily to provoke them; for 


Even a man like the late Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan who had made 
his loyalty to the English people unsuspected by taking more and more 
part in defending and helping the English declares the open and secret 
schemings of the same clerics to be one of the great causes of this uprising 
(the mutiny of 1857). As such, he writes in his book, Asbab-e Bagha- 
wat-e Hind, as follows ;— 

"All were certain that the Government would not compel anyone 10 
change one's religion, but through secret plans, even as it has annihilated 
Arabic and Sanskrit, it would first pauperize the country and then by 
means of its religious books, sermons and preaching and through allure- 
ment of services would make the people renegades. 

"The orphaned boys who had been christianized during the famine 
of 1837 were considered a specimen of the government's conduct in the 
north-western districts, that reducing and impoverishing India like this it 
would draw all in the fold of its own religion. As the Government gained 
more and more victories the Indians used to be aggrieved because they 
were certain that when there would be no apprehension of any enemy or 
of any confrontation and sedition from any neighbouring ruler, the Govern- 
ment would meddle above board with their religion and customs and con- 
ventions. All were in the know that the Government had appointed padres, 
who were given salaries and large sums for distributing books and meeting 
other expenses. The civil and military officials used to hold religious talks 
with their subordinates and, calling them to their mansions, used to make 
them hear the padres' religious sermons. In short, this thing had progressed 
so much that no one knew whether, under the Government's administration, 
his or his offsprings' religion would remain unchanged. Polemical books 
in the form of question and answer (catechetical slyle) were being distributed 
free in which there used to be objections and indecent attacks on other re- 
ligions. The padres would go to the gatherings of other religions for ser- 
monizing and no one could say anything to them for the fear of the officials. 
Very often they used to take peons with them. Many mission schools had 
been founded in which religious education was being given. Big officers 
used to visit these schools and used to persuade others to join them. Tests 

fFoot-note continued) 

they can get up a cry here (England), which people unacquainted with India 
think very fine and harmless'. But the missionaries were fortified by the sym- 
pathy and in many cases open partiality of both civil and military officials. It 
is not surprising that there was general apprehension among the Hindus and 
Muslims regarding the intentions of the Government on the question of con- 
version". (Hist, of the Freedom Movement in India, voF. ii, pp. 240-41). 



were being held on religious books; if the answers were given in accordance 
with the Christian religion, young children used to receive prizes. People 
used to admit their children into these schools under constrain', because 
their exceeding poverty and indigence had not left any ether means for 
the education of their children save these schools, whereafter they could 
find out some way of eking out their livelihood. 

"Village schools had further strengthened this conviction that heir 
purpose was only to christianize. Inspectors and Deputy Inspectors (of 
schools) were called 'Black Padres'. These people, in order to please their 
bosses, used to admit children in these schools forcibly although the chil- 
dren's parents would be certain that that was only a trap for christiani- 
zing. Government service could be had en producing the certificate of 
ihese black padres only. 

"In 1857 Padre Edmund sent ie ters from Calcutta 1o all people gene- 
rally and government servants particularly to the effect that as the admi- 
nistration in the whole country had become one, it was necessary for them 
all to enter the fold of only one religion -Christianity. 

"On receipt of these letters all became terror-striken; due to terror a 
pall of gloom fell before all eyes. All felt convinced that the thing the 
Indians were fearing had arrived : now ail government servants would 
have to become Christians, Government servants due to shame used to 
hide these letters because their friends used to taunt them and used to 
believe that !he government servants would have to become Christian, 
one day". 1 Urdu couplet :- 

Conformance to the Trinity was the basis of peace and to utter 'Say ■ 
He is Allah, the One ! was a crime. 

Lord Macaulay who had been appointed President of the Council of 
Education in 1835 had stated about the futore system of elation in 
Indra in his famous Minute that he submitted on February 7, 1835 to the 
governor-general. Lord William Bentinck, that their aim should be 'to pre- 
pure a body of educated men who would act as inlerpreters between them 
and their subjects, that it should be such a class of persons who would be 
Indians m blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals 
and in intellect". 2 

1. Synoptic extract from Ri sala Asbab-e Baghawat-e Hind by U Sayyid aW 

2. Tarikh-. Talim by Major Basu, p. 105, quoted in Raushan Mustaqbil, 4th ed., 


The East India Company whose apparent purpose was trading and 
the real objective was the preaching of Christianity and the grabbing of 
political power in India, had gradually begun 1o intermeddle in the politi- 
cal, educational and administrative affairs of the country. With this ob- 
jective in mind, Bible Societies had been established at many places, the 
Bible had been translated into all the principal languages of the country. 
Christian missions had been opened in all the big and small cities and 
towns of India, and the officials of the Company and the Christian missio- 
naries had made a common cause and were preaching Christianity vigo- 
rously. The English people's plan was that somehow the Indians, parti- 
cularly the Muslims, should be converted to Christianity so that that reli- 
gious zeal that impelled them to hate and oppose the British might be 
channelised for stabilising the British government and thereby the chan- 
ces of ruling over India peacefully with the flourishing of Christianity 
might be created. 


In short, on the one hand, missionary activi ies of the padres were 
current, mission schools were being opened in which facilities for acquir- 
ing education were being provided, the officials of the Company were on 
their back, providing all sorts of help and support; ond, on the other, above 
every thing else was the lure of government services. The scheme of the 
Company was such that by making the inhabitants of India, particularly 
the Muslims, indigent and ignorant, for which all sorts of proper and im- 
proper means were being employed, and by luring them to the acqui- 
sition of services, they should be constrained to receive education in Miss- 
ion Schools which were considered then the greatest means for the prea- 
ching of Christianity. But the greatest stumbling block in this path were 
the sciences of the Muslims and their love for it. To obviate this the said 
education scheme was devised in A.D. 1835/ A.H. 1251 the spirit of 
which, according to Lord Macaulay, was to create a class of persons who 
would be "Indians in blood and colour, but English in tastes in opinions, in 
morals, and in intellects" 

This second weapon of English education and English culture no doubt 
proved more successful than the former. It is obvious that this scheme of 
the Company was a very noxious and deadly weapon for the Muslims' 
religious life, communal traditions and arts and sciences which they could 
never bring themselves round to accep'ing under any circumstance. And 
while they had not yet thought out a solution for maintaining their reli- 
gious life and communal consciousness, the upheaval of 1857 occurred 
whose unsparing ravages and horrible consequences had terrorised hearts, 
benumbed brains and withered souls. The whole community was over- 




clouded with inertia, insensibility and despondency. The monarchal and 
ruling power and glory, wealth and pomp had been finished and the Mus- 
lims had been al.ogether deprived of the means of livelihood. Indecent 
habits were taking root in them day by day and the entire community 
was falling into the abyss of ruination and destruction. Disinclination 
towards education and alienation from religion were increasing daily; the 
consciousness of their own strength and posi ion was dying out. The 
padres' preaching activities had made .conditions more perplexing and the 
time was not far off when the old generation of the ulema educated in 
the former seminaries would have gradually vanished. 

These were ihe circumstances under which our thinkers and savants 
had to percieve ;hat wllh political decay and debacle and deprivation of 
sovereignty, the Muslims' learning, religion and communal life too would 
soon fall into serious jeopardy. They were not unaware of this decision 
of history that whenever a people have conquered a country and have 
gained political domination and sway over its inhabitants, the influences 
and characterstics of the victors do not remain confined to the bodies oF 
the vanquished but go deeper, subjugating the heart and mind, learning 
and thought of lat'er also with the inevitable result that the vanquished 
not only bid adieu to their national customs, national ethos and national 
thought and practice but, in accordance with *he axiom "the people follow 
their kings' religion", and due to the continuous process of a'traction and 
assimilation for a long time, they at lost begin to hato their own traditions, 
values, thought and practice; and then imitation and blind following and 
conformance to the victorious nation becomes a source of pride for them. 

In the 600-year old history of the Muslims in India this was the most 
dreadful, delicate and dangerous time. At such a delicate and dange- 
rous time when the fortune's wheel had brought about a very ruinous 
state of affairs for the Muslim community, the most important need of the 
time for the protection and survival of the Muslims was the palingenseis 
of religious values and establishment of religious schools. 

It has been a great characterstic of our ulema and Shaikhs that from 
religious, academic and jurisprudential proposilions to any branch of cul- 
ture, social life, politics and civilisation, they never let the skirt of the Isla- 
mic shari'ah slip from their hands; they never laid down arms before the 
rival powers in any corner. The nineteenth century A. D. was a great 
challenge to the beliefs, thoughts and views of the Muslims, Western 
arts and sciences and European culture were engulfing the who'e 
world like a great deluge. The lamp of the Mughal sultanate in India 


had been snuffed out. The lustre and glitter of modern science and te-